FH Grows, a student-run business that sells produce grown in the school garden, is one of three EdCorps that make up the Fair Haven Innovates program at Fair Haven Public School. For the seventh grade class (and teacher, Chris Aviles), gardening is a new adventure, but the class has a clear goal for their school garden – to reach a bigger audience.
School Garden to Community is the new Farm to Table
The students chose basil because it’s fairly easy to maintain and grows quickly. Soon after they started growing, they added rosemary to the mix. As the garden flourished, the students brainstormed ways they could connect their product to the community. The local pizza parlor, Umberto’s, is within walking distance from the school and seemed like a natural fit. It was time to reach out.
What started as emails turned into phone calls and later marching down to the store to talk with the owners, directly. The students were determined. After a few days, the students were sitting with the pizza shop owners as they sampled their product.
The FH Garden Pizza
A partnership formed and FH Grows agreed to sell two ounces of basil and one ounce of rosemary a week to Umberto’s. The students even got to name a pie on the menu as “The FH Garden Pizza” – artichoke, basil, onion, broccoli, fresh mozzarella, and balsamic pie.
The Garden Continues to Grow
Three members of the team decided that there was no reason that FH Grows should stop at basil and rosemary. After talking to the owners and learning about the popular white cap mushrooms as toppings, they knew what they had to do next.
This month, the class saw their first harvest of mushrooms and they are excited to expand their product line this year. If you don’t find yourself near Fair Haven, NJ, root these students on from afar. If you’re in town, stop by Umberto’s for a FH Grows pizza. It was made with love – and learning.