Orange River Elementary changes lives with community garden
Fox 4 News Staff
FORT MYERS, Fla. - For 12-year-old Maribel Pascual, "I learned that all the things we planted are actually good for you," she said.
Planting and growing her own food is opening a whole new world.
"Two weeks ago i took some lettuce and made a salad with it," explained Maribel. "From what you grew in this garden?" asked Fox 4 reporter Gabrielle Sarann. "Yes," she replied.
And that's what organizers of the Orange River Community Garden are hoping for.
"They really get a lot of a big kick out of growing something and being able to eat it," said Neil Volz, the organizer.
On Saturday, about 100 Fort Myers elementary students teamed up with Next Level Church members. The kids helped plant 19 beds, build three new ones and they made their own container gardens to take home.
"It teaches them how we can take care of ourselves much easier if we just know how to do it and that and when times are tough you can grow your own food,' said Holly Bell, the principal of Orange River Elementary.
Bell says many of the families are from Mexico and Guatemala, where the soil is different.
"As i make home visits, the gardens that they're growing they think the soil is much like the country where they're from and so they're having problems growing their own food," explained Bell.
That's why she's teaching kids and their parents how to grow different vegetables to promote healthy living.
"It doesn't always have to come from a store in a bag you can grow it at home from a little tiny seed," said Bell.
Volz added, "It teaches us patience, it encourages us to get to know each other and to learn about the wonders of life."
And a productive way to spend a Saturday.
"I would normally be bored on Saturday and now i have something to do," said Maribel.