On Sunday the Orlando Junior Academy (Website | Facebook) began planting in their Community Give-Back Garden in College Park.

The garden is located on the corner of King St. and Musselwhite Ave. directly across from the school in College Park.

The Give-Back Garden is an extension of their Edible Schoolyard garden where the school extends “the students’ curriculum beyond the classroom to the outdoors where the natural world becomes the textbook,” according to their website.

We were out there along with Orlando Junior Academy students, parents and community volunteers from Whole Foods to setup the first two plots of the garden. The school is looking for community partners to help build our their plan for the garden.

As a thank you, partners receive a plot in the Give-Back Garden. Partners may build their own garden and partake of the harvest or re-gift as they wish. Partners participate in at least one educational session per year.

The school has plans to expand the garden including a Kitchen house.

“By tapping the creative force of food, garden and education experts and linking them to students and parents via integrated curriculum inside a Kitchen House and outside in a robust garden, we believe it is possible to reverse negative health trends, sustain healthy life-styles and enable families to come together over a delicious nutritious meal, prepared by their own hands, and sit at a table filled with fresh ingredients from their own abundant harvest,” Nicole Agbonkhese, Principal at Orlando Junior Academy told Bungalower via e-mail.

OJA students will benefit from the Kitchen House and Garden during regular class time and our local schools and at-risk communities will benefit through field-trips, afterschool clubs, summer/holiday camps, and evening/weekend programs.
They anticipate that within three years they will develop a membership and usage model that will sustain the Kitchen House/Give-Back Garden while immediate results will be achieved in the lives of students, families, teachers and the community.
Photos courtesy Orlando Junior Academy

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