Building a Culture of Health through Food
In 2015, Terra Cura started a partnership with Healthy Plymouth — installing school and community gardens to fill the need for hands on, free, healthy activities for students and the larger Plymouth community. The school and community gardens provide a safe and healthy platform for students and the community to interact with each other, and learn about the benefits of healthy eating through organic gardening. The goal is to reduce anxiety, depression, isolation, substance abuse and obesity.
The Healthy Plymouth, Terra Cura, Plymouth Public Schools partnership has resulted in an enthusiastic response from the community. The students and community have been an integral part of building all of these school and community gardens. The community has contributed close to $5,000 of in-kind donations and over 1,315 volunteer hours for creating these gardens. Two Amazing Race Fundraisers have raised over $50,000 that is earmarked for programming at the gardens.
All of the gardens that were planted in 2017 and 2018 participated in a community wide program called the The Tomato Sauce Initiative. This year, 202 pounds of tomatoes were provided to the Plymouth Food Service director for this year’s tomato sauce initiative. Over 60 families, individuals and organizations helped with the maintenance of gardens over the summer to produce this yield. The next phase of this effort will integrate this groundswell of interest to yield locally grown organic vegetable to the many food banks in Plymouth.
There has been an interest in organic gardening, composting and other permaculture principles such as seed saving and companion planting across all school grade levels. Our hope for 2019 is to start our plants at a greenhouse at the Plymouth County Sheriff’s Department, increase outreach opportunities for the Plymouth Community and beyond, supporting this local food literacy movement such that it can continue to thrive.