The Education Fund (www.educationfund.org) planted a food forest between 3,000 and 5,000 square feet in size on Friday, Feb. 19, at Royal Palm Elementary School, 4200 SW 112th Ct., with help from the Miami Dolphins and the Florida Department of Agriculture and Fresh for Florida Kids program.
More than 125 volunteers — students, parents, Miami Dolphins staff among others — joined The Education Fund’s in-house team of professional gardeners to expand the school’s existing container gardens into a full food forest that will supply the school and students regularly with fresh vegetables, and serve as an outdoor learning lab for all subject areas.
The Miami Dolphins and Fresh for Florida Kids together donated $2,500 to buy supplies like mulch, dirt and plants to get the food forest off to a head start. The garden at Royal Palm Elementary School is part of The Education Fund’s edible garden program supported by Citi. The Education Fund has 51 edible gardens in elementary schools in Miami-Dade County Public Schools. Eleven are food forests. The Education Fund will increase the number of food forests to 16 by the end of this school year.
All the food forest schools regularly send students home with fresh garden produce, and more than 30 schools in The Education Fund program supply school cafeterias with herbs and vegetables from the garden.