DoCo Schools bring farming to classrooms - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

DoCo Schools bring farming to classrooms

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ALBANY, GA (WALB) -

Getting kids to eat their veggies isn't the easiest task, but Dougherty County School officials believe if they get their hands in the dirt to grow their own food, it might be a little easier.

They're teaming up with Southwest Georgia and Georgia Organics to host a Farm to School meeting Wednesday from 6pm to 8pm at Turner Elementary to get the community involved in giving students hands on experience with growing their own food.

They nutrition department already makes sure at least 20 percent of their produce served in lunchrooms is grown locally in South Georgia.

"Georgia is a fertile, fertile farming in the Southwest Georgia and we want those local farmers to come work with us and help us out in this initiative," said Blaine Allen, Interim Director of School Nutrition.

But now they want to help take that a step further by teaching students about local farming by reaching out to the community.

Asking farmers, parents, and anyone who can help give students a hands on experience in learning how to grow their own food.

"It's real rewarding when those students are able to see those products on their plate and that's how we win. That's how we fight childhood obesity," said Allen.

Volunteers will help build raised beds for students to garden and give input on field trips and curriculum.

That way late this coming fall, they can put their hands in the dirt and grow cabbage, broccoli and other foods packed with nutrition.

"The stats show only one in ten students consume the right amount of fruits and vegetables. So, with farmer's school, we want to change that," said Allen.

They will also talk with farmers this week about bringing other fresh vegetables and produce into the schools.

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