To say that January was a busy month would be an understatement. The Edible Peace Patch Project has been absolutely blessed with opportunities to extend their mission, recruit and work with wonderful community volunteers, and put healthy food in children’s tummies.
Last month, they grew their schoolyard gardens from four to seven, adding three additional gardens at Melrose Elementary, John Hopkins Middle School and Fairmont Park Elementary. They have nearly reached their goal of having gardens in eight Title 1 schools in south St. Petersburg.
When The Edible Peace Patch Project initially proposed a garden at Melrose Elementary, similar to four other gardens they have installed in Title 1 Elementary Schools, Principal Nanette Grasso was enthused. However, the plan was rejected because the site is a designated brownfield area (the ground cannot be penetrated).
Melrose was built on a hazardous waste site, rendering the ground unusable. Phi Theta Kappa Club at St. Petersburg College approached Peace Patch director Kip Curtis about hydroponic gardening. Knowing that gardening without soil would be a perfect solution for Melrose, he accepted their offer.
The school immediately signed on, and to complete the project, Garden Patch GrowBoxes donated their grow boxes to build the hydroponic garden structure. The Peace Patch also offered two full wellness kitchen programs in January, providing healthy recipes to more than 200 schoolchildren at Sanderlin IB World School and Campbell Park Elementary.
Getting children to make healthy food choices is one of the foundational goals of the Edible Peace Patch project. Last week they recruited college and community volunteers to help us offer our garden based education program for the spring of 2014.
Contact the Peace Patch right away if you’re interested. Curtis and his staff, Garden Program Coordinator Alita Kane and Garden Manager Pab Baker, have been hard at work helping to deliver healthy gardens and meaningful programs to serve our community. Volunteers needed to help with weeding, fertilizing and planting. Gloves supplied.