Thursday, September 22, 2011

"Woodland Acres Elementary Organic Garden"- New addition to the FNFCG Directory

We've added another Community Garden in Northeast Florida to the FNFCG Community Garden Directory.


Woodland Acres Elementary Organic Garden



Woodland Acres Elementary School
328 Bowlan St N
Jacksonville, FL 32211 (Map)
Photo from firstcoastnews.com
I spoke to Tim Feagins, principal of Woodland Acres Elementary, today and got the back story on the brand new organic garden that's been installed at his school.  Mr. Feagins has been wanting to implement a garden similar to one he knew of in Pinellas County which used the Wellness component of that garden in the curriculum.  Woodland Acres is a Medical Magnet school and Mr. Feagins was hoping to build a garden and institute the same relationship from the classroom to the garden.  Nice!

So, how do you get a garden built with very little time and no gardeners to speak of?  Well, if you happen to have been adopted by a Naval squadron - you stand a very good chance of meeting your goal.  U.S. Navy Squadron HSL-42 adopted Woodland Acres many years ago, and when the principal was contacted by the squadron prior to the start of the school year volunteering to come and spruce up their school - Mr. Feagins had just the project in mind.  Almost 150 sailors from the Jacksonville Naval Air Station showed up and knocked that garden out in no time flat.

Add to that a donation of 50 plants from Chartwells, the food vendor for the school.
Photo from firstcoastnews.com
Okay, I know what you want from me: the details....

6 beds: 1 for each grade level; each 8'x10'
The garden is hand watered at the end of each day.

Each grade level will participate in maintaining the beds and harvesting and tasting the produce.  This will be incorporated into the school's current involvement in the The United States Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Program which makes funds available to the school for purchasing fresh fruits and vegetables to provide to students outside of the cafeteria.  Students get a healthy snack 3 times a week using this program; Mr. Feagins hopes that students will be able to enjoy healthy snacks from their very own garden as well.

I hope so too.

What this school needs is gardeners, gardeners, and more gardeners.  They've got the students, the garden, the plants - now they need some expertise. If you live nearby, won't you contact them to lend a hand?

Read more about the Woodland Acres Elementary Organic Garden:

Talk to us:  Can you think of an elementary school in your area that would benefit from a Community Garden on their grounds? Let's hear about it.

Don't forget to tell your favorite school that the Slow Food First Coast Fall 2011 School Garden Grant Applications are due by 9/30/2011!!