PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — A a sure sign of spring has reopened in Roxborough. A farm market is bringing healthy food to a community, thanks in no small part to high school students.
It’s a sunny day, and time to get summer crops in the ground.
“I never been to a farm before and there’s so much stuff we can learn,” ninth-grader Destiny Crosby said.
This is Henry Got Crops, a fitting name for this farming oasis on Henry Avenue, outside Walter B. Saul Agricultural High School. It’s a partnership between the school, Weavers Way Co-Op, and the co-op’s affiliated nonprofit, Food Moxie.
“They manage the education programs here with Saul students, all about growing and eating and cooking with fresh produce,” Weavers Way Co-Op farm manager Nina Berryman said.
Philadelphia Parks and Rec owns the land.
The co-op’s partnership with Saul started flowering in 2008 and has only grown since. Students like these ninth graders get to learn agricultural practices, right at school, even in the city.
“We plant lettuce as one of our regular activities,” Greg Smith, a natural resource management teacher at Saul, said. “That lettuce is harvested by students and then returned to our cafeteria, where we are feeding our students these nutritious leafy greens.”
The seasonal farm market is now open. Some of the produce on the shelves is grown by students. Other produce will go to customers in the farm’s community-supported agriculture program or CSAS.
“This farm is a great source of local food for the neighboring community,” Berryman said.
Henry Got Crops inspired Saul graduate Jaylynn Gardner to study food science at Penn State. She works part-time at the farm.
“There’s not that many people of color like me at Penn State, especially in the agricultural major as a whole,” Gardner said.
The next generation is ready to learn, and grow.
“They’re doing so much work every day,” ninth-grader Jade Jones said. “I never thought I’d be part of something so great.”
The farm market is open three days a week — 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Tuesdays and Fridays and 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturdays.
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