NHA’s New Life Head Start will plant fall vegetables and learn the concept of the fall harvest in their own garden. With the help of a garden grant from Western Growers Foundation (WGF), the center was able to plant an edible garden on the playground. The garden will support the innovative curriculum developed through the nationally recognized NHA Nutrition program. The center purchased fruit trees, vines, vegetables and they are now also growing kiwi, guava, banana, apples, persimmons and raspberries. The pre-school aged children have already transplanted from seeds, beans, corn, cucumber, lettuce, and pumpkin, and other vegetables. The children have even learned about composting worms!
The urban garden at the New Life Head Start Center encourages good nutrition, environmental stewardship and agricultural awareness in San Diego County. This past summer, the WGF sent New Life Head Start a $1,000 garden grant; a California School Garden Network, ”Gardens for Learning,” book; Producepedia.com bookmarks and vegetable seeds to support the center’s nutrition gardening program.
This grant was made possible through a USDA Specialty Crop Block Grant, administered through the California Department of Food and Agriculture, to WGF. Western Growers Foundation worked with the California Department of Education (CDE), Nutrition Services Division (NSD) to provide 100 garden grants of $1,000 each to eligible child care centers or preschools participating in the Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP). This is the second grant cycle awarded to WGF so to date, the WGF has awarded 200 pre-schools and child care centers a $1,000 each, totaling $200,000.
The foundation’s mission is to plant and sustain a fruit and vegetable garden in every willing California and Arizona school to help children learn hands-on the lessons of planting food and the nutritional value of fresh produce. Western Growers Foundation has made grants to more than 700 schools to date.
Click to learn more about the Western Growers Foundation