Sept 15 workday at Greco and Turner-Bartels: animal care, new 4th grade vegetable gardens

co-writtten by Sangram S. Karande and Li Zhu

On this year’s Green Apple Day of Service (Sep 15th), TT Farm2School teams organized garden workdays at Turner/Bartels K-8 School and Greco Middle School. At both events volunteers from USF, the College of Public Health, the Patel College, TBK8 teachers and Grace Empire Church worked on school garden and beautification projects. It was a happy morning at Greco, led by Patel student Winnie and Susan and Milan Gessman, weeding the pollinator garden and cleaning out the earth boxes used for herb garden to supply dishes prepared by Greco culinary arts students. There was the feeling of passion and joy in helping to build the first phase of the TBK8 outdoor garden classroom as we thought about garden experiences the fourth grade students would soon be having.

At TBK8, we started the morning by assembling the wooden frames for the new fourth grade vegetable gardens. TBK8 parent Ron Dell (Curb Appeal Tampa), lent his professional landscaping skills to help the volunteer team. TBK8 fourth grade teachers Katherine Powell, Collette Forget and Dan Sturlaugson and administrators Ms Barone and Mr Harris came out to help Jacques Werleigh, TTF2S Agriculture Advisor, lead volunteers in mixing a special dirt recipe we used in the gardens that included compost donated by Busch Gardens, mushroom compost, Black Kow manure, and peat moss. The building team placed the garden frames 5 ft apart in a semi-circle to allow for plenty of space for students to work together between the gardens.

The grand opening for the new gardens is planned for November 3 when TTF2S team leader Yara Khalil will prepare smoothies and lettuce wraps to share from the new pop-up Kids’ Kitchen. Spring of 2019 TTF2S is submitting a Lowe’s grant to fund the next phase for TBK8’s outdoor learning garden. If we are successful, we will use those funds to build a shaded structure with seating for children to do their garden lessons. If you would like to contribute to helping us complete the new outdoor classroom projects at Turner-Bartels K-8 school, please contact Elizabeth Leib,



by Sangram S. Karande

The next generation of global sustainability leaders are created by nurturing young minds through green learning experiences given by schools. Green Apple Day is a unique way a community comes together and volunteers in transforming schools into healthy, safe, and sustainable learning environments for children. The Center for Green Schools at the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) is the organization behind Green Apple Day of Service. This day of service helps students gain hands-on experience with sustainability, strengthening civic leadership, environmental literacy, and project management skills.

Green Apple Day of Service has impacted more than 4 million children in 80 countries through thousands of service projects. Millions of volunteers have contributed their efforts to make their community schools greener and sustainable.

Just as a seed given the right amount of water, sunlight and love grow up to be healthy and tall, we at Temple Terrace Farm2School help educate children on the importance sustainable organic farming plays in providing them with delicious and healthy food. We are located in the state of Florida which has the highest number of Green Apple Day Projects. Temple Terrace Farm2School has worked in setting up several gardens, farms and composting projects in Turner/Bartels K-8 School, Cork Elementary School, and Greco Middle School impacting more than 3000 students in the Hillsborough County.

We are very excited to announce the roll-out of our brand-new mobile Kids' Kitchen on Nov. 3 at the Green Apple Day of Service at Turner-Bartels K-8. On this special day students, their families, and volunteers with Grace Empire Church, the USF Patel College, and Temple Terrace Farm2School will engage young 4th-grade gardeners in a demonstration of how to prepare a simple dish using the same vegetables and fruits they have grown in their garden.