Friday, August 3, 2018

Cumberland County #NJ #Greenhouse Ribbon Cutting #GardenCuizine #schoolgardens

New Greenhouse 
at Bridgeton High School, NJ

This summer, Bridgeton High School, located in Cumberland County, NJ, unveiled a new 1,500 sq. foot greenhouse that was funded and donated by the Procacci family, Revive South Jersey and NJ Community Capital. 

The new student greenhouse features a student-built hydroponic farm! In the fall, science and nutrition class students will plant herbs, fruits and vegetables there. 

Thanks to District Nutritionist, Allison Wentzell; Jacque Mermer, Assistant Director of Food Services and master of ceremonies, Mr. Warren DeShields, Director of Food Services of Bridgeton Public Schools for inviting me to attend; I love the new greenhouse and can't wait to see what your students grow! 

Dietitians and healthcare professionals take the challenge of reversing childhood obesity very seriously. Scientific evidence has long shown that kids who garden eat more fruits and vegetables. Eating more plant foods helps to prevent diseases, such as obesity, cancer and heart disease. The introduction of gardens in schools is a great gift to the students.

Many people were involved in bringing the idea of a greenhouse to the school district at Bridgeton HS to the students. Agriculture is one of the goals that some students are pursuing. The greenhouse will serve as a teaching tool for students in science class. Hydroponic gardening depends on an important nutrient blend and water testing the pH in order to grow food without soil.

Plant foods are important because they provide essential vitamins, minerals, fiber and other compounds. Fruits and vegetables are low in energy density so they also help people achieve and maintain a healthy body weight.

"Imagine having your own greenhouse," said Dr. Thomasina Jones, Superintendent Bridgeton Public Schools. The students will be given an opportunity to "Cultivate seeds, nurture those seeds and watch them bloom and flourish." Best wishes to all with this exciting agriculture opportunity to grow their own fruits and vegetables. 

The first greenhouse for Bridgeton Public Schools will provide 540 plant spaces in the new hydroponic system. Raised garden beds and more outdoor learning spaces can be found at West Avenue School and Cherry Street School.

Related Links
NJ State Health Assessment Data

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