The bountiful gardens at Mitchell Math & Science Elementary School buzzes with activity on Wednesday afternoons from 4-6pm– the official weekly volunteer day of Charleston’s Green Heart Project, a local non-profit that creates urban farms and farm-to-school programs. In the gardens, adult volunteers work with students to plant, harvest, weed, and cultivate personal responsibility with integrated academic lessons. As an incredible contribution to Charleston, BB&T Charleston Wine + Food is pleased to announce the Green Heart Project as the community partner for our 10th anniversary year.
On a sunny autumn afternoon in early October, the Charleston Wine + Food staff joined forces with students and volunteers to learn more about the Project and their urban farms by harvesting sweet potatoes. Started in 2009, the Green Heart Project began with third graders and now serves all elementary school children in Green Heart gardens with plans to expand to more local schools in coming years. Their teaching farm includes a native species garden, a stunning herb spiral, a monarch garden, fruit orchards with citrus and blueberries, and a fully irrigated microfarm.
Photos by Stephen Blackmon
Gillian Zettler, Executive Director of BB&T Charleston Wine + Food, says, “The scope and mission of the Green Heart Project and their gardens are impressive, and we support their expansion into new schools to teach our kids where food comes from – seed to plate – while supporting personal development. It’s critical to developing engaged eaters.”
During the staff’s volunteer day/ afternoon/ experience, the team harvested over 100 lbs of sweet potatoes, which are curing and will be incorporated into a new sweet potato recipe served to students by their school cafeteria in celebration of World Food Day (October 24).
Drew Harrison, Executive Director of the Green Heart Project: “We cannot be more thrilled to be the Charleston Wine + Food community partner for 2015. For ten years now, the festival has celebrated the food and culinary culture that makes Charleston amazing. And as an organization centered on local, seasonal foods, the Green Heart Project looks to honor that same culinary culture as we teach our youth and community about the roll food plays in our lives.”
For more information about the Green Heart Project, please visit their website or purchase pickled goodies from the program, t-shirts and more at The Park Café next to Hampton Park in Charleston, SC. For more images of our garden day with the Green Heart Project, click here.