| By Laughing Samurai
Toyota Executives from New York to Japan joined together to grow food for children hungry for a school garden by supporting Fleet Farming with the funds to build a school garden at a 100% free and reduced lunch school, Catalina Elementary in Orlando, Florida.
After a long day of building, planting, and working together, we were able to develop an edible landscape on Catalina’s campus. Lush with a long food forest of fruit trees and 10 raised garden build, students and staff can now engage in edible and educational experiences. Planted with Florida Friendly plant varieties, this space now serves as an outdoor classroom to incorporate hands-on learning for subjects ranging from science to mathematics.
The benefits of a school garden is the development of a connection with growing healthy food from a young age and inspiring the children to learn to love eating supporting their bodies with good food. Studies have shown that healthy food helps to improve test scores according to Berkley University’s 2017 study on School Lunch Quality and Academic Performance. By developing a connection to nature, students can learn about their ecosystems as well as learn how to develop and maintain edible landscapes of their own. By implementing these garden installations, Fleet Farming is not only creating nutritional opportunities but also bringing together students, teachers, and parents within the community in a healthy and sustainable way.
We look forward to watching these new gardens at Catalina Elementary School grow along with the little hands of the students that helped us make this build happen. We could not make these growing opportunities available within our communities without the help of our partners and volunteers. Donating edible landscapes is certainly a gift that keeps giving, and we are grateful to have volunteers and sponsors that share our values in an effort to support our mission to create long lasting, educational garden spaces throughout our community.
Interested in creating an edible school garden? Contact Fleet Farming’s Edible Landscapes service.