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What’s Growing On? March 2022 News from Grow Education

by: Adam Davenport, Grow Education Program Manager

We have some exciting news – Grow Education is expanding! We had our first official on-site meeting with the Westport Public Schools. Our goal of expanding our programming to other districts on the Southcoast, outside of New Bedford, has been in the works for a while, but has remained in the planning phases while we developed educational resources to accompany a valuable and supportive program for both the teachers and students we work with. Just as we finished fine tuning our programming, Westport Public Schools reached out with interest in starting a Farm to School project.

Our on-site meeting last week focused on identifying the best location for their future garden beds and outdoor classroom. We are now focused on the design and planning for the garden, as well as recruiting teachers to come to their first Professional Development workshop this summer! The garden should be built after school renovations happen this September and we are aiming to have our first garlic planting in Westport in the fall.

Back in New Bedford, we are gearing up for a spring full of planting. Our FoodCorps members, Shay, Jenn and Amelia have been hard at work starting seeds and conducting taste tests with students! We have a plethora of fruits, vegetables, and herbs that will be planted at over 12 gardens this season. Before we know it, the students will be harvesting sugar snap peas, radishes, cilantro, dill, and lettuce for our cool season crop line up.

We are also hosting a series of Community Recipe Meetings with New Bedford’s Food Service Department at some of our Grow partnered schools. This is an opportunity for students families to come together for a meal, learn about how Food Service creates meals in compliance with USDA guidelines, and then share their culturally-significant recipes. We hope to come out of these meetings with a diverse list of local community recipes that can be incorporated into the school cafeteria menus over the next couple of years.

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