Seed Saving

Seed sorting

G.E.T (Garden Education Training) students at Loften have been learning to save seeds through a collaboration with Forage Farm. A recently tilled plot at the Farm to School to Work Hub on the Loften High School campus will be used this fall to grow a variety of plants which will be allowed to “go to seed.”  Many of us have not experienced that aspect of plant development in leafy vegetable plants – lettuce, collards, kale, etc. – because we harvest them before the seeds pods are formed. This special plot, however, will be carefully observed to determine which plants are the hardiest, and those plants will be the ones allowed to produce seeds to be harvested, sorted, and packaged by students. The seed will then be stored carefully, waiting to be sowed for the next season’s school garden transplants. Since each plant produces hundreds, sometimes thousands, of seeds, there will be plenty left to distribute to community gardens as well through Forage Farms “Southern Heritage Seed Collective.”

[A big thank you to Scott Smith Photographic for the lovely photos]

Jordan Brown and the Family Garden farm – growing salads for school lunches

jordan in the fieldDuring the fall, Jordan Brown’s Family Garden farm will be growing lettuce and cucumbers for school lunches in 15 Alachua County schools. Jordan works hard to grow healthy food organically while treating his workers with dignity. We are proud to know him – and thrilled to see him featured in this new mini-documentary on the Agricultural Justice Project.

School Gardens Funded by Food and Nutrition Services

School garden at Kanapaha Middle School, Spring 2014

School garden at Kanapaha Middle School

School gardens are contributing to school lunches with help from a $300 grant from Alachua County Schools Food and Nutrition Services. Schools that grow food for school kitchens can purchase transplants, soil, seeds, tools, and other supplies seasonally. Alachua County schools interested in this support can contact Kelli at brewkm(at)gm.sbac.edu for more information.

Inch by Inch, Row by Row: Growing the Farm to School to Work Hub

Heading back to the classroom

Ground was broken (literally!) last week at the Farm to School to Work Hub at Loften High School. G.E.T. (Growing Education Training) students sowed a cover crop and constructed a deer fence around a recently plowed area. This space will soon be producing seed chosen and saved to grow plants ideally suited for Alachua County gardens – and school kitchens.