Tallahassee, FL -- April 23, 2012 --
Examining the fruits of their labor, these young gardeners have spent months growing their own food. Their Pre-K teacher Kathy Leland uses the garden as her classroom. Today Kathy’s students are taking a test, It’s not a pop quiz. It’s a taste test.
But gardening is just part of what these three and four year olds learn. Eating fresh, local food is the real lesson.
“Some kids say they don’t like it, it doesn’t taste right. But once they try it, they like it and they go home and plant it,” said Leland.
It’s a lesson the Florida Department of Agriculture is trying to spread to public schools. This garden in the capital city will serve as an example to public schools looking to grow their own food. Agriculture Commissioner Adam Putnam unveiled the garden Monday.
“When kids connect where their foods come from they are more likely to eat fresh fruits and vegetables. They’re more likely to develop lifelong healthy eating habits,” said Putnam.
School gardens are the next phase in the state’s Fresh from Florida Program. This year schools began serving locally grown produce. The goal is to fight Florida’s obesity problem. Demonstrating how to grow food at school will be shot in the capital city garden and used in webinar videos in schools throughout the state.