The Oklahoma Farm Bureau Women’s Leadership Committee and the Oklahoma Department of Agriculture has awarded Eugene Field Elementary's Global Garden Best Education-Based School Garden!
"It's a huge honor to be recognized," said Global Gardens Program Director Jenni Yoder. "We really wanted to emphasize to the kids in the whole school because every kid in the school works in this garden that they really won the award. Their efforts, time, and hard work to create a beautiful and peaceful space has really paid off and other people also recognize what a great space it is."
Global Gardens started at Eugene Field Elementary 16 years ago and have since expanded to include several more Tulsa Public Schools sites. Each week, Global Gardens educators spend an hour with each class working on their garden as part of their science curriculum. They also get a seed-to-plate experience by harvesting and cooking what they grow throughout the year.
"We love kale chips, stir fry, veggie pizza, spinach banana bread, beet chocolate cake. We've made fudge with avocados before. We work hard to make sure it tastes good so then they have these really positive experiences with fresh fruits and weird veggies that kids typically wouldn’t reach for," said Jenni.
Global Gardens also has an after school program at Eugene Field. Twice a week, two groups of students tend to their garden.
"They get to really make all the decisions for that space. So, not only what to grow and what to do with their harvest but what it looks like, what it feels like. They create art and add little elements like a pollinator bath or a bird bath or a toad home."
Students work on the garden year-round and are able to check on their plants on weekends with their families to water or harvest what is ready to eat.
The Farm Bureau award included a $500 prize that the school plans to use to invest back into the garden.
Check out photos of the Eugene Field garden in the slideshow below.