Giant City Grows
The Giant City Grows Project is an initiative to develop five raised garden beds for our primary classrooms. Our goal is to have the beds in place by spring 2015. A current student working towards his Boy Scout Eagle Scout Rank has committed to building the raised garden beds and - given enough resources - a designated composting area.
Following bed placement, each of the primary teachers and their students will have the ability to grow fruits and vegetables. The school has a small green house room adjacent to its science classroom that will provide an excellent environment for students to start seedlings in late winter and study their development. Excess seedlings not planted into one of the beds will be sent home with students to encourage the planting of home gardens. Students participating in the afterschool program will help maintain the beds by watering and weeding as needed.
We hope that food harvested during the school year will supplement the school’s salad bar. Any excess food grown during the school year – and particularly that harvested during the summer months with the help of student volunteers and school staff- will be distributed to food insecure families in our district. Students may also choose to give excess foods to the local food pantry. Southern Illinois (specifically rural Jackson and Williamson Counties served by our school) has documented child poverty rates of 31% and 22.5% and child food insecurity rates of 23.1% and 22.9%, respectively. Any organic cafeteria waste will be composted for use in beds.
To summarize, our students will learn about seeds, growth cycle, giving back to the community and developing a compost pile. This grant would provide resources to purchase materials to construct the raised garden beds and composting area, soil to fill the beds and seeds.
KGI is a nonprofit community of over 30,000 people who are growing some of our own food and helping others to do the same.
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Kitchen Gardeners International
3 Powderhorn Drive,
Scarborough, ME, 04074, USA