Our dear friend and longtime farm member Kathleen is an experienced chef and food manager in the St Johns county school district. She is one of the hardest working, most genuine and knowledgable people we know. We’re so happy to showcase what she’s doing with her school gardens!
Kathleen, take it away!
Hi my name is Kathleen, I’m a chef and food service professional that manages a school kitchen. I oversee a school garden and love to use the food grown by our students in healthy and nutritious recipes that our kids will want to eat. I love to visit our local farmer’s market and get to know our local farming families. I strive to help kids think about where their food comes from and encourage them to make healthier food choices. During the growing season in North Florida I look forward to trying all the different, unusual and colorful vegetable varieties as part of my CSA membership. I am slowly changing my diet and really gravitating toward plant-based foods and limiting my protein choices to humanely raised farmed meat. A 30 minute fitness routine using basic weights and a ugi ball really fits my very busy schedule. I am happy to report that I’ve been cancer free for eight years now and can share my “work” with you! Managing a food service establishment & school gardens program is a challenge, but I believe it is a necessary component in child development and education.
Partnership with KyV:
I always thought of our local farming families as our friends and not just our county wide neighbors. KYV has been there for me and my students from day one. I needed them to guide me through the process of growing food for sustainability, nutrition and wellness.
Each year Vivian & Francisco offer us plants, advice and donations of delicious organic vegetables to serve our students and faculty.
Currently there are many school gardens in St Johns County Schools all managed by teachers, administrators and volunteers. Funding for each garden relies on donations, small grants and personal fund raising. If you ask one of my students “where our food comes from” they know it is our local Farmer and they know the process, dedication, and hard work that goes into feeding the world. They have respect for them; they have visited them; and they know the wide varieties of vegetables good for you by growing them at school!