Salida School Gardens - Garden to Cafeteria Project
Healthy Food, Healthy Growing!


This summer we’ve been breaking ground and getting the Salida School Gardens-Garden to Cafeteria Program under way! The program is a collaborative effort between LiveWell Chaffee County, Salida School District, Guidestone and the Southwest Conservation Corps (SCC) to support the growing and eating of local, healthy foods in district cafeterias. Working in partnership with the established Salida Middle School Garden, this program will supply fresh, locally grown fruits and vegetables for the school meal program and utilize the garden as a context and location for environmental and agricultural education.  Guidestone’s role in this unique program includes ongoing operations and maintenance of the garden and education. 


The first phase of this project was established by many generous community and partner volunteers this summer, and the
quarter-acre garden on Salida School District property on Holman Ave. includes ten straw bale raised garden beds, ten fruit trees, a pumpkin patch, eight in ground beds, a gourd tunnel and winding pea trellises throughout the site. School district staff will receive and process the harvest and use it this fall in the school meal program. Produce will also be sold at Salida’s farmer’s market to help sustain the operations and management of the garden program.  Look for us there!

 

 In addition to garden development, Guidestone is working closely with the Salida School District to creat an education program that will integrate the garden and garden-based lesson plans into curriculum grades pre-K-12.  With funding from the Captain Planet Foundation and Safeway, Guidestone has conducted the first teacher professional development training and is working on additional opportunities for teachers in the fall.  Ultimately, this program will expose the student, teacher and parent body to the benefits of fresh, locally grown, sustainable produce, thus turning the cafeteria into a learning environment.



Perhaps as thrilling as the garden itself is the energy, generosity and collaboration from the community and partners to make this garden program a reality.  It would not be the same without such comprehensive effort from such a wide variety of supporters!  We are all excited to watch the garden grow and see many more community faces enjoying fresh produce and building a healthy food program for the school district!


For more information about future volunteer opportunities or questions in general about the program, please contact Margaret at .



For funding and in-kind support, special thanks goes to LiveWell Colorado, Colorado Garden Show, City of Salida, Chaffee County, Nestle, Colorado Parks and Recreation Association Foundation generously supported by Leanin’ Tree, Inc., Captain Planet and many other local businesses.