The county offers spring gardening seminar. Photo courtesy County News Center
Edible garden. Photo courtesy County News Center

The Irvine-based Western Growers Foundation and the state Department of Education announced Friday that $150,000 in grant money was distributed to 100 K-12 schools in California, including a dozen in San Diego County, to create and sustain their own edible gardens.

Each school received $1,500, plus seeds and other materials. The grants were made possible through a USDA Specialty Crop Block Grant administered through California Department of Food and Agriculture.

The 12 schools in San Diego County that received grants include Jamul Primary School, Lemon Grove Academy for the Sciences and Humanities, Serra High School and Vista High School.

Edible school gardens give children the opportunity to learn where their food comes from and the importance of good nutrition, according to Paula Olson, a Western Growers marketing executive who oversees the foundation’s Edible School Gardens project.

“It’s staggering to think that the majority of children go without eating even one serving of fruits and vegetables a day when they should be having five to nine servings,” she said. “When students get involved in edible gardens, they really find a new love for eating fruits and veggies because if they grow it, they’ll eat it.”

The Edible School Gardens Program is open to all K-12 schools, both public and private, in California and Arizona.

— City News Service