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Originally posted October 9, 2012
PARENTS AND CHILDREN AT ROSA PARKS ELEMENTARY ARE PUTTING DOWN ROOTS IN THE NEW FAMILY FOOD FARM
At Rosa Parks Elementary school the planting season has just begun. Carrots, beets and Brussels sprouts and are just a few of the things popping up as a part of the new Global Gardens Family Food Farm, a new addition to the garden that is focused on growing food and nurturing relationships. On Tuesday, October 9, Family Food Farm participants will be adding six fruit trees to the new space thanks to the Up with Trees and the Apache Foundation.
Students at Rosa Parks Elementary have been happily planting, harvesting and eating out of the garden for the last four years that Global Gardens has partnered with the school to provide during school and afterschool programming centered around the garden. While harvest parties featuring vegetable soup, pizzas with garden-fresh toppings and homemade potato chips are a highlight, with close to 90 percent of students on the free and reduced lunch program, providing a taste of nutritious food didn’t seem like enough to Global Gardens educator Maggie Regan.
Regan developed the idea for the Global Gardens Family Food Farm in the spring of 2012 after several years of successful gardening with students. Regan saw the need to produce more food for students and their families, especially those who are most at risk for food insecurity, including the 100 students who receive backpacks each week filled with snacks to make it through the weekend thanks to the Food Bank of Eastern Oklahoma’s Backpack Program.
Although addressing food insecurity is an important element of the garden, participants have voiced additional reasons for joining the effort, including spending constructive time with their family, being outdoors, teaching their children tangible skills and giving back to the community. In just the first month, the garden has had approximately 85 unique participants who have put in more than 200 hours of work, building raised beds, planting seeds, watering, mulching and planning for the future of the Family Food Farm. All Rosa Parks students and their families are welcome to participate as well as other community members. Family Food Farm meetings and workdays are every Tuesday, 5:30 p.m. -7 p.m. and the first Saturday of every month, 9 a.m.-11 a.m.
Global Gardens, a nonprofit educational organization, is dedicated to empowering low-income students and communities through the process of creating community gardens. By establishing progressive student-centered garden spaces, individuals are empowered to live healthier lives and become agents of change in their communities. For more information about Global Gardens visit www.global-gardens.org or contact Ayschia Saiymeh at 918.381.6390 or firstname.lastname@example.org