By: Marisa Herman Associate Editor
St. Vincent Ferrer Catholic School students excitedly gathered around new wood boxes filled with dirt eagerly awaiting their turn to plant a vegetable.
They took turns getting their hands dirty, watering the soil, digging a hole and planting peppers, potatoes, chocolate mint and scallions in the raised garden beds.
The Green Team and Garden Club will be responsible for maintaining four community gardens that were donated to the school by Delray Beach-based Architec HomeGrown Gourmet Products.
“We want it to be a place where kids can come and read, write and get their hands dirty,” Principal Vikki Delgado said. “We are really excited about it.”
Architec CEO Jenna Sellers said the donation is part of a company initiative called Project Restore a Wholesome Future. They take proceeds from sales and then donate gardens.
She said it was a student at St. Vincent who reached out about bringing the gardens to the school.
Sixth grader Owen Hill knew Sellers and about her business and her products.
“I knew she was the right person for the job,” he said about his ask of her to bring her gardens to the campus.
“We had a garden in the past, but it had a lot of weeds and it was hard to maintain,” he said. “It wasn’t in the best area, now it is in a good area and a lot of kids can see the plants grow. It will be an amazing thing for everyone at the school.”
The gardens are from HomeGrown Gourmet, a product line that encourages consumers to grow wholesome, fresh produce at home with products like their Harvest Grow Bags, Harvest Window Box, Strawberry Patch Tower, and many more. Project Restore a Wholesome Future is dedicated to installing community gardens to get kids and young adults interested in growing their own farm to table produce at an early age.
“Homegrown Gourmet gives us the opportunity to encourage healthy eating habits and get kids excited about growing their own fruits and vegetables,” Sellers said. “We’re excited to install these gardens in Delray Beach, which is also the city our company calls home.”
Students didn’t hesitate to get messy moving dirt and helping one another water their plants. One student exclaimed they had been waiting five weeks for the gardens to be installed.
Now, it will be up to the students to tend to their garden and enjoy the fruits of their labor, literally.