Executive Director Janet Kite says the plan is for the school to grow some of its own organic foods. “We have a cook that’s been here since 1977, and she says she can use tomatoes, cabbage, there’s certain things that we’ll be able to use that we can grow here. Some of it will just be for taste testing and cooking in the classrooms.”
The new raised beds and other garden areas are the result of a $2,500 Junior League grant, plus community volunteerism. Teachers, parents, university staff members and Slow Food members coordinated the project of establishing the garden. It includes raised beds begun with organic fertilizer donated from Earthfare. CCK parent and project leader Tiffany Morrison says some of the planting beds will be specifically designed by teachers for use with very young toddler activities. Morrison also says that local extension agents and professors helped with advice on the project. Morrison is a University of Tennessee intern who’s been part of the Organic Farm and Market program. She says, “It was exciting to be able to apply some of the things I’ve been learning.” They’ll soon be planting blueberry bushes, and volunteers will return as needed to assist the school.
The Children’s Center is a United Way agency. “They’re just gonna learn more than just what a happy meal is, they’re gonna learn a little bit about where their food comes from and hopefully they’ll see some of those things they grow, on their plate at lunch.”