Farm2Childcare is growing! 5th pre-school garden planted.
On Thursday, June 29th, The Planning Council partnered with Healthy Suffolk to help install a 4×8-foot raised garden at The Children’s Center in Suffolk. The Children’s Center in Suffolk is part of The Planning Council’s Farm2Childcare program and has piloted several different projects including procurement of local foods, Harvest of the Month, and now a garden. During an assessment of the pre-school’s menu for local food procurement, Anne Bruehl, Director of Health at The Children’s Center, showed interest in starting a garden at the center. The Planning Council then coordinated with Healthy Suffolk for funding and installation of the garden. Shelley Barlow, Garden Coordinator with Healthy Suffolk, took the lead as an expert in the gardening field.
A lot of work was put into the garden installation, but with a strong team from the organizations the work went quickly. The team overturned the grassy area, laid down newspaper, assembled and filled the raised bed. Once the garden was ready to be planted, six 3-year old children assisted in planting tomatoes, cucumbers, squash, and other herbs. As they were planting, the children counted out seeds and dropped them in the holes; they were also able to see what the vegetables looked like once they were grown.
With funding from the Obici Healthcare Foundation, and the partnership between The Planning Council and Healthy Suffolk, teachers and children are able to understand how food grows and have the opportunity to eat healthy while tasting new produce items. The Children’s Center in Suffolk serves approximately 85 to 100 children.