Sunday, April 17, 2011
School Lunch Initiative
On Friday State Commissioner of Agriculture, Adam Putnam visited the Edible Peace Patch. Commissioner Putnam is promoting an initiative to address good nutrition through the school lunch programs in Florida public school by encouraging the purchase of locally grown foods and the integration of healthy eating into the life of public schools.
He was very interested to hear about the contribution of Eckerd College students to the gardening and education effort. He seemed equally interested to hear about our Wellness Kitchen being run by Ole Miss Gradate Student, Sarah Tucker.
Thanks to the hard work of student volunteers and Lakewood students, the Edible Peace Patch was just coming into full development. I was able to show Commissioner Putnam arugula seeds, collard greens, two kinds of cucumber, green beans, yellow squash, pumpkins, dill and dill seeds, corriander seeds, and a growing number of okra.
Several officials from the Pinellas County School District's Food Services Division visited along with the Commissioner. They were impressed with all the work that everyone has done and they promised me that they would help us find ways to get the Peace Patch food into the Lakewood Elementary School kitchen. They were thrilled to have a project like ours to show to Commissioner Putnam.
After his tour of the Peace Pacth, local news and pinellas county school tv interviewed Commissioner Putnam about his impressions and I tried to eavesdrop. But I could not hear what was being said.
He marvelled at our okra before heading north to visit another school in the county with an extensive hydroponic gardening project. Makes me think we need a SWFMD grant...