Are you familiar with the farm-to-table concept? It’s a movement which promotes local food at restaurants and school cafeterias, usually purchasing directly from the producer. Recently, St. Joseph Academy science teacher Katie Lodes approached FSC chef Keith Campbell about their greenhouse growing system. Katie realized Keith could possibly benefit from the results of their gardening project and he enthusiastically agreed.
2023 was the beginning of active growing in the Gloriod greenhouse. Students start the plants from seeds except for the key lime tree. The science department uses it for learning experiences through instruction of scientific processes and key concepts such as reproduction, energy and evolution. Katie says, “it’s an easy fit for other curriculums and different classes are looking at ways to utilize it in the future.”
St. Joseph’s environmental club, the Earth Angels assists with supporting and maintaining the greenhouse. I was able to visit with three students, Bailey Bryan, Madeline Brand and Kate Bittle who are all passionate about the project. They’re involved in taking care of the watering schedule for the plants. In addition, they create signs for the cafeteria identifying foods that contain ingredients grown in school. Some of the plant varieties include scallions, basil, cilantro, Bok choy, lettuce and more.
This experience is resulting in a wonderful collaboration with food services receiving fresh produce and positive learning outcomes for students. Katie states, ” it’s giving them a feeling of ownership and responsibility as well as the satisfaction of eating what they grow.” She says it’s early in the process and hopes to expand as they continue to learn the intricacies of indoor gardening. We appreciate our new farm-to-table partnership and look forward to future harvests!!