Healthy Plymouth - Terra Cura Edible School and Community Garden Partnership
Why School Gardens?
Garden curriculum in elementary, middle school, and high schools allows students to:
- understand the importance of eating nature's food
- plant over 800 organic plants
- connect with healthy food sources and understand the difference between natural and processed foods
- learn about growing your own organic food and what is involved in caring for the plants
- connect with nature and their environment
- through the Tomato Sauce initiative, allows students to participate in the growth, care, and harvesting of the produce as well as the preparing, cooking and eating of the healthy meal
- create Healthy kids through mind, body and spirit
This year's funding will allow us to continue the garden programming, utilizing the gardens for after-school programming as well as in school programming, working with teachers to create and implement curriculum for using the gardens in all learning areas.
All of this works towards education, confidence building, health education, self esteem building, connecting with your food sources, taking care of your body...with one of the many positive results being substance abuse prevention.
About the Gardens
Healthy Plymouth and Terra Cura, Inc. have partnered to provide organic, edible gardens to the Plymouth Public Schools and the community. Over 100 members of the Plymouth community have worked together across sectors to install and maintain the gardens. Since April of 2016, this partnership has accomplished great things in our community, including:
- The installation of 13 organic, edible school gardens throughout the Plymouth school district
- Organic plants provided to all of the school gardens for student and community consumption
- A school-wide tomato sauce pasta lunch made from the harvest of the school gardens
- A series of intergenerational cooking classes with 50+ participants promoting a healthy lifestyle
- After-school garden programming at all eight Plymouth elementary schools in partnership with the Old Colony YMCA with an average of 150 students participating weekly
Terra Cura is a local nonprofit that integrates edible landscapes with education to create projects that restore the foundation of communities, socially, economically and ecologically. Terra Cura projects are designed to encompass education and experience, as a means of empowering the community, in a collaborative method. The engagement of peers and community members provide an environment where students can have a sense of pride an accomplishment. The engagement in the school community provides hands-on opportunities for students to engage in nature and their food systems.
Terra Cura/Healthy Plymouth After-School Program
April 27, 2018: Terra Cura, through funding from Healthy Plymouth, as a result of the Amazing Race Fundraiser, is providing after school programming to eight elementary schools in Plymouth. This ten week after school program is sited within the YMCA programs at these elementary schools;, Cold Spring Elementary School, Hedge Elementary School, Federal Furnace Elementary School, Indian Brook Elementary School, Manomet Elementary School, Nathaniel Morton Elementary School, Plymouth South Elementary School and West Elementary School.
The program has been running for three weeks and will run until the end of the school year. We have five educators helping with the program. Their backgrounds range between, organic farming, science instructor, nutrition educator and wilderness education instructor. We are lucky to have such a diverse and dedicated team working with these young people. The curriculum and topics are integrated with the four core values of the YMCA, respect, responsibility, honesty and caring and we will be utilizing the garden beds that are at the schools to do hands on lessons in the garden.
So far we have touched on topics such as exploring the local and industrial food systems, recycling everyday items into useful things around the house and creating mission statements for the gardens that did not receive these last year. Other upcoming topics will be square foot garden planning, companion planting and water catchment topics, where we will create a rain gauge for the students to take home and one for the garden as well.
The goal of the program is to bring interest and excitement to the gardens all around Plymouth and to allow students to connect with their food system and nature. By the end of the sessions we hope to have a new generation of gardeners and stewards of the earth. Any questions please email: email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org.