From abandoned athletic field into organic school garden (Natural News)

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http://www.naturalnews.com/034319_school_food_fresh_produce_garden.html

School turns abandoned athletic field into organic garden that grows thousands of pounds of produce to serve in cafeteria

Sunday, December 04, 2011 by: Ethan A. Huff, staff writer

A Denver, Co., public school has set the bar high for reconnecting the next generation of children with the food they eat. ABC 7 News in Denver reports that Denver Green School (DGS), an urban “innovation” school, has brought new life to an unused, one-acre athletic field by turning it into an organic garden — and the garden has been such a success in just eight months that the school is able to serve fresh produce from it to students in the cafeteria.

“We have harvested over 3,000 pounds of produce from this ground,” said Megan Caley, the programs and outreach coordinator for Sprout City Farms (SCF), which partnered with DGS to create the garden. “Lots of salad greens and root vegetables, tomatoes, eggplant, peppers.”

The goal of SCF is to transform unused or underused urban land into thriving agricultural space, which can then be used to grow food for local residents. And the group’s partnership with DGS has been landmark in that it not only produces a plethora of fruits and vegetables, but it has also sparked a renewed interest among children in growing and eating them.

“Kids are eating healthier,” added Frank Coyne, one of the founding lead partners at DGS, to ABC 7 News. “They are excited to eat the tomatoes on the salad bar, they are excited to eat the cucumbers.”

Several children interviewed by ABC 7 News explained first-hand how much they enjoy playing an active role in planting and growing the crops. They also love being able to touch the plants, produce, and soil, as they observe the the fruit of their labors grow.

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Published by

Willem Van Cotthem

Honorary Professor of Botany, University of Ghent (Belgium). Scientific Consultant for Desertification and Sustainable Development.