Markham Middle School Learning Garden
The Markham Middle School garden is located in Watts, a South Los Angeles neighborhood where poverty and crime are commonplace. Like other food deserts youth have little access to fresh food or green space.
In the fall of 2011 EnrichLA re-designed the dilapidated horticulture space into a working school and community garden. Since its inception the garden has served hundreds of students, teachers, staff and community members. In the ten garden plots, there are 12 fruit trees, multiple rows of vegetables and herbs, a native plant habitat, a grape arbor, an attached food prep area and outdoor seating. The garden still lacks a sink, a cooking surface, serving bowls and kitchen utensils. The Sow It Forward Grant would provide the program with further educational materials, seeds, and the funding needed to complete our outdoor kitchen.
The three primary goals for the Markham Middle School Learning garden are:
- To provide each sixth-grade student with in-school or after-school programming. This experience will offer each sixth-grade student an introduction to: plant biology, environmental science, food justice, nutrition, food marketing, farm economics and ecology.
- To grow enough food so students can sell at the Watts Healthy Farmers Market one Saturday per month, starting in May 2014. Selling at the Watts Healthy Farmers Market will create revenue for the garden program so EnrichLA can hire one or more 7th or 8th grade student intern(s) to manage the garden during winter and summer school vacations and on occasional weekends.
- To engage more Watts residents so the garden is of greater benefit to the entire community. The grant funding will enable EnrichLA to complete the outdoor kitchen. Soon, the garden will give Watts residents access to free or low-cost produce and the knowledge to prepare it in a healthy way.
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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