Two teachers who wanted their students to learn the value of nutrition and sustainability by growing food started the Patton Project Garden. Today, the garden includes a greenhouse, 30 raised beds, two tunnels, and a pergola with seating for classes. A solar array provides electricity to the greenhouse, and the excess energy is used by the school.
Students are involved in every aspect of the project, which is designed to provide them with a better understanding of the health benefits of growing and eating fresh food.
They build the beds, plant the seeds, and harvest the yield. In doing so, they learn the real-world application of plant science, biodiversity, and the food web. Students also learn about local and global hunger and possible solutions.
The district has donated more than 5,000 pounds of fresh produce to the community food bank. The Adopt-A-Bed program encourages family and community involvement and sustains the gardens throughout the summer months and during school holidays. Families also work together to help provide fresh produce for nearly 12 months out of the year.
Learn more about Unionville-Chadds Ford School District, Kennett Square, Pennsylvania at www.ucfsd.org