Miss Nadine’s garden blossoming one year on

| 27/04/2017
CNS Local Life

Volunteer Gabriella Hernandez reads to the students

(CNS Local Life): A school garden planted Earth Day 2016 sponsored by a local financial services firm, has passed its one-year anniversary. In honour of Earth Day, Citco first established the garden at the NCVO’s Miss Nadine’s Pre-School to introduce the young students to sustainable living and healthy food options. A year later, produce from the garden has been used in school’s kitchen and the company is expanding the garden by installing an irrigation system and new grow boxes.

To date, the garden has produced tomatoes, basil, thyme, blueberries, scallion, sweet peppers, okra, lettuce and mint for use by the school. The volunteers and staff also try to incorporate activities such as reading, making tea, taste testing, and play with the students to create engagement.

“By encouraging children to ‎grow produce we hope to ‘sow the seed’ in their minds about the many benefits of gardening, which can become the foundation of a healthy, sustainable lifestyle,” said regular volunteer Julie Belton. “Give a man a fish, you feed him for a day, teach a man to fish, you feed him for a lifetime.”

Belton also noted that growing produce free of artificial fertilizers and harmful pesticides can not only help save money, it also helps prevent many illnesses associated with poor diet and a depleted food system devoid of nutrition and laden with toxic chemicals.

The company also recently launched its global sustainable health initiative, which seeks to encourage healthy living for employees and increased community involvement, a goal the company believes is complemented by local projects such as these.

“CITCO’s community service committee is intended to support local initiatives that assist the youth, elderly and vulnerable within our community,” said volunteer Gabriella Hernandez. “It is also important that staff from the company and the school are personally engaged and visits to the garden and the students are ongoing.

“It is a project that requires time and care to ensure viability and long-term success. The progress to date has been due to the involvement of the school and company staff and community partners for which we are very grateful.”

In a press release, the company said it hopes the garden will increase productivity to ensure the school has access to healthy, clean produce for students and staff, which in turn would reduce overall food costs for the non-profit organisation.

In addition, over the long term, the company wants to expand the programme to more schools through partnering with other local organisations.


Category: Education

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