The issue for my project is the lack of fresh food in our cafeteria. Students often skip lunch or spend money buying unhealthy food in the bookstore or campus center to avoid eating the cafeteria lunches. My goal is to provide the lunchroom with healthier cooking ingredients to incorporate into meals, so students feel they have a better selection of food to eat.
I solved this problem by designing an enhanced community garden for our school. The area will include a greenhouse to grow the plants that need more protection against the unpredictable weather conditions in Atlanta. There will also be a few garden beds where students will help grow fruits and vegetables. The garden is located next to the outdoor Chapel at our school, so students will be able to help after school.
Landscaping for Garden
Here are links to some Pinterest boards that help convey the idea of my design!
Poll 1: Fruits
Poll 2: Vegetables
There is 245 square feet of usable space available for my garden. The greenhouse takes up 100 square feet of this space. The rest of the space is used for the compost area, tool shed, garden beds, and flow of human traffic in the garden.
Originally, I was going to design the garden in an empty parking lot on campus. However, the process of removing the asphalt, as well as the harmful substances in asphalt that carried into the earth would not be beneficial for the environment. After talking to a couple community service leaders at my school, we decided that building the garden close to the outdoor Chapel would be the most ideal. The area is very open and allows for direct sunlight, which is necessary for the growth and nurturing of the plants in the garden. The area is also closer to the heart of the campus and school activities than the empty lot, which will be helpful in gathering the assistance of students.
What YOU can do!
Now that you have seen how I decided to use gardening to enable healthier school lunches, how will YOU apply this idea to your community? What are your thoughts on possible alternatives to obtaining healthier food in school cafeterias? If you agree with me that gardening is the simplest and most natural method, then what are your suggestions to improve upon my idea? If we all work together, then promoting change within our communities will be a very achievable goal. Thank you for viewing my presentation, and I would love to hear all of your thoughts in the comments section below!