Schools around the nation are changing the way they feed kids — for the better! Common Roots continues to cultivate 50 organic raised beds at the Growing Gardens site at the Farm at South Village. Through an ongoing partnership with the School’s Out program, South Burlington Park and Recreation Department and classroom educators, Common Roots is now hosting weekly field trips to Growing Gardens, where our Farm Educator works with students in grades K-8 to plant, cultivate, and harvest a diverse selection of vegetables! We often make time to explore the beautiful landscape, wooded areas, production farm and of course, visit the chickens!
“The success of Growing Gardens, Growing Kids is tangible,” says Farm Educator Forest Donaj-Keys. “It’s busloads of kids getting out on the land. It’s a student asking “What’s weeding? and then answering his own question: “Oh, it’s what I do with my Grandma!” It’s kids taking the lead to plant a spinach bed and others noticing when the cucumbers are just right for picking. It’s pounds of food pulled from the gardens, increasing the availability of and access to fresh organic produce within the community. It’s encouraging a generation of children to develop healthy habits and to deepen their connections to the natural world.
What happens to the harvest?
Food grown in the Growing Gardens, Growing Kids program supports a variety of goals:
- Students participating in field trips to the Growing Gardens site discover that fresh-picked string beans make a tasty snack and tomatoes taste “soooo good!” Students may bring food they harvest back to their school for snacking, homes, or summer camps where they engage in hands-on learning as they prepare the food they’ve grown.
- Food harvested at the Growing Gardens, Growing Kids site partially supplies Farm to School lessons serving 1,000+ students in three elementary schools.
- The Community Food Shares (CFS) program may use fresh vegetables harvested through the Growing Gardens, Growing Kids program for the shares for participating families pick up each week at the Wheeler Homestead, 1100 Dorset.
Interested in scheduling a field trip to the Growing Gardens, Growing Kids outdoor classroom? Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org (please write “Growing Gardens, Growing Kids field trip” in the subject line); 802.652.0188.