The awesome project is the supplementation and implementation of Freeman Elementary’s Lettuce Grow Stand (lovingly named “Herbie”). Freeman Elementary is a public school in Flint, Michigan. Freeman Elementary was selected to be a 2021 Whole Kids Foundation Garden Grant Recipient. As a part of the grant, the Whole Kids Foundation partnered with Lettuce Grow in giving out a hydroponic Farmstand. Freeman Elementary would like their Farmstand to be utilized inside of the school year-round. Thus, their Lettuce Grow Stand needs indoor-growing supplies like seedlings and ring lights.
The Lettuce Grow Stand with the lights, seedlings, and other supplies will do multiple things to benefit the students, staff, and community at Freeman Elementary. It will supplement students’ meals and snacks, provide a long-term education on growing plants from seedlings, give educators and program directors a topic to organize lessons/programming around, and provide community members with fresh produce when harvested. Lunches at Freeman Elementary lack fresh produce from the garden, and the implementation of the Lettuce Grow Stand with the extra supplies will be able to fill that gap for them. Not only will it fill the gap, but it will provide nutritious food to fill that gap. Students at Freeman Elementary love seeing the plants in their classrooms and garden grow. They also love putting their “detective caps” on and learning about how a plant grows, what influences a plant’s growth, and what hands-on activities they can do to interact with the growing plants. Teachers and program leaders at Freeman Elementary want to help foster the students’ curiosity in this way. They have created lessons surrounding the Freeman Learning Garden, and have supported programs in the garden. The community members also like participating in garden programming. Flint, Michigan is in a food apartheid and food access is limited. The produce from the Grow Stand would be available for all in the community.
Funded by Ann Arbor, MI (December 2021)