2012 Snail Awards Given for School Gardens

In partnership with Palm Beach County’s Green Schools Recognition Program, Slow Food  Glades to Coast has awarded its 2012 Snail Award  and $250 to Timber Trace Elementary for its Gardening  program  with honorable mentions given to Palm Beach Central and Santaluces High Schools. These efforts were celebrated at the fourth annual Green Schools Awards Luncheon held at the Kravis Center’s Cohen Pavilion on April 30th.

Slow Food Glades to Coast developed the Snail award for school gardening in collaboration with FAU's Pine Jog Environmental Center. This annual award is given to schools applying to Palm Beach County’s Green School Recognition Program that best create a food garden-centered educational program that promotes the Slow Food values of good, clean, and fair food. These values are reflected in categories such as sustainability, promotion of food biodiversity, community building, incorporation of the garden in lesson planning, and school impact.

The outdoor learning structures that Timber Trace built from Green Seed grant money include raised beds and a small hoop structure where students observe and read in the garden. Three classes at Timber Trace are involved in creating and maintaining the fruit and vegetable gardens.

Mathematics and science were used by the students to plan the garden and study plant growth there. Students are guided by their teachers to plant and care for their gardens. For example, one project, entitled “Sensational Salads,” had classes enjoy a salad party and compare fruits and vegetables bought at the store to those grown in their garden. An overwhelming number of students thought that the food grown at school tasted better. 

Finally, Timber Trace continues to use the compost bin purchased with Green Seed grant funds. Students from all grade levels are responsible for adding plant and food scraps and turning the compost bin daily.  The compost was used by several classes for vegetable gardening projects.

Slow Food Glades to Coast also recognized two additional schools  - Palm Beach Central High School and Santaluces High School - as honorable mention for the excellent work they did with the gardens at their schools – they will each receive $50.  Both schools incorporated organic gardens into their culinary programs to teach students about the benefits of using fresh vegetables and herbs in food preparation.