Summit Community Gardens offers ‘Edible Education’ at Park City schools
Summit Community Gardens and EATS is busy with the harvest and its Edible Education program at Park City schools.
Is your child more curious about where to get their next sugar buzz than delicious veggies from the garden?Summit Community Gardens and EATS Interim Executive Director Kelly Vendetti said its Curious Cooks program at area elementary schools may help curb that sweet tooth.
“Kids then get to learn about nutrition and make things and try new foods and they really love it," said Vendetti. "We also have greenhouses–one at Park City Day School, and one at Parley’s Park Elementary School. And so we're able to do both gardening and cooking nutrition education there.”
This series of interactive cooking classes rotates between Park City’s elementary schools.
Vendetti said for kids who want to further their Edible Education, it offers After School in the Garden classes incorporating gardening, art, play, cooking and eating into the programming. Kids can enroll for the whole course or punch passes can be purchased for five or 10 sessions. Scholarships are available.
The gardens also implemented a sustainable initiative it hopes to expand to all area schools. She said when a child gets a school lunch, they often eat a couple of items and ditch the rest. “We're working with the schools to put together Green Teams, where first they're going to divert the waste. So if it's milk that's unopened, or an apple that's not bitten into, they'll actually collect that food and distribute it to different locations within the school. So people that have a need can stop by and get it and they do stop by and get it.”
And that’s not all for the Green Team.
“So then once that's been diverted, then we do composting," said Vendetti. "So, the Green Team which consists of teachers and students in the schools, they'll sort the stuff into bins. And then we facilitate getting those bins down to Salt Lake. They don’t compost it, but it’s still put to good use.”
Vendetti said they also started a community composting bin in partnership with Spoil to Soil that has been a very successful pilot program at Jeremy Ranch Elementary School.
Fall also means the harvest and she estimated they have gathered more than 450 pounds of food this year. “We donate the food to a program called Food Farmacy Rx that goes to people who really need healthy foods. So we're really excited. It's been a great year in the garden.”
And a great year in the garden means it’s been a great year for providing education and food to the community they serve.