Pickens Horticulture and Culinary Programs Team Up to Explore the Farm-to-Table Movement

In today’s world of uncertainty, it is now more important than ever to ensure students are equipped with the necessary skills to succeed in life after high school. In Aurora Public Schools, 21st Century skills form the bedrock of postsecondary and workforce readiness.

As we celebrate Career and Technical Education Month, we want to highlight one specific avenue that prepares our students for jobs of the future - and that is the renowned Pickens Technical College!

As one of only three technical colleges in Colorado, Pickens offers 30 certificate programs for high school students and adults. The school’s career and technical programs are robust and prepare students for a wide range of high-skill, high-demand careers. It also offers short-term credentials and customized training to meet the demands of an ever-changing workforce.

At Pickens, two such programs have a history of working together to develop these skills while exploring current trends in the food industry. Students in the Urban Horticulture and Landscape Management Program learn how to grow a wide variety of herbs, fruits and vegetables that are then utilized by students in the Culinary Arts Program to create delicious meals. This collaborative farm-to-table partnership has existed for many years, and is one of Pickens’ best kept secrets - until now!

“We grew and harvested oyster mushrooms in Fall 2019 and collaborated with the culinary students to make a delicious mushroom risotto,” said Pickens Urban Horticulture and Landscape Adjunct Instructor Donna Nading. “We all enjoyed the food and it’s great to have the two programs working together.”

"Growing the mushrooms with the horticulture class gave students the opportunity to meet new people and show off their skills in the commercial kitchen," said Pickens Culinary Arts Instructor Tiffani Schans. "It really is a win-win working with the horticulture program."

Both programs offer unique opportunities to learn valuable skills through hands-on instruction, one inside the kitchen and the other outside in nature.

To learn more about the incredible career and technical programs at Pickens, visit pickenstech.org.

February is Career and Technical Education Month!

Spotlight on Pickens Technical College: Did you know?

  • Pickens was named Best Community College in Colorado in 2017 and 2018 by bestcolleges.com and ranked the #1 community college in Colorado by niche.com for 2020 and 2021.
  • APS high school students receive free tuition for any Pickens Technical College program.
  • Pickens serves more than 1,100 high school and adult students.
  • Pickens is offering top-tier career and technical education through virtual, hybrid and face-to-face cohort learning during the pandemic to fulfill high industry demands and needs.