Built in 2015, the FPD educational gardens have allowed students to explore plant and animal life through hands-on, outdoor learning that brings textbook biology lessons to life. Now, FPD students will have the opportunity to take their studies a step further and participate in the inaugural FPD Garden to Table program.
Beginning this fall, FPD elementary students will plant cabbage, Georgia collards, cauliflower, carrots, kale, lettuce, onions, broccoli, radishes and various herbs that will later be served in the FPD lunchroom.
“Our students have really enjoyed the gardens,” commented Wade Putnal, Elementary Principal. “They have studied the parts of the plant, water eco-systems, soil components, life cycles and more. Now we’ll learn how those concepts affect crops that are grown for consumption.”
In preparation for the fall plantings, FPD hosted an Educational Gardens Workday on Saturday, September 17. Parents, students, and faculty cleaned out the multiple flower beds and topped them with new soil in preparation for planting.
The first crops will be planted late September and students will harvest the produce in the winter and spring. The Garden to Table Program will also be an added incentive for students to choose healthy foods at lunch.
“We encourage kids to eat healthy fruits and vegetables every day,” notes Mrs. Putnal. “Students will be more excited about eating their vegetables, some that they have possibly never tried before, if they come from plants they have actually grown in their own gardens.”
“We are looking forward to seeing what delicious vegetables and herbs the students grow,” adds Joe Bocchino, Director of FPD Dining Services, “SAGE Dining, FPD’s food service provider, is committed to using fresh, locally grown produce as much as possible, as part of their From Near/From Here Program. There is nothing fresher than our own gardens!”