Teamwork and Education Provide Fish and Produce
By Mike Brownlee
The youth garden at the Heartland Family Service Solomon Girls Center is grown on asphalt, but its produce is fresh, providing food and education to the at-risk girls in the program.
At the north Omaha center, youngsters ages 5 to 18 work in raised plots behind the building on 30th Street, or inside using an aquaponics method that uses fish to feed plants.
The Solomon Center’s staff teaches the girls about what they should eat and how to grow it, incorporating the garden into both the sustainability and nutrition curriculums. “It’s growing food, but it’s also learning,” says Tammy Green, director. “We do nutritional education, and show the girls what a healthy plate should look like.”
Most of the Solomon Center students live in poverty. Their families bring in less than $30,000 yearly. The center provides enjoyable after-school learning opportunities for 80 girls, and serves as many as 150 girls during the summer. … Read More