The Arizona Department of Health Services has certified Orme School’s Community Garden as an Approved Food Source.
Orme’s Community Garden — part of the school’s Garden to Table initiative — grows out of Orme’s commitment to stewardship of all natural and economic resources, now and for generations to come.
To earn the Approved Food Source designation, Orme’s Community Garden underwent physical, and procedural, inspections, culminating in a final site visit by state personnel. Approved Food Source certification frees Orme School to utilize their homegrown produce as ingredients in schools meals served in Founders Hall.
Orme’s ultimate goal for the Community Garden is to, someday, reach 60-80% self-sustainability. Near term, Orme hopes to see the Community Garden produce 20%-40% of the school’s produce needs.
The Orme School Community Garden, which was re-established by Orme Students with help from Orme Biology Teacher, Casey Jones, currently has 15 raised bed gardens producing carrots, lettuce, kale, swiss chard, strawberries, fruit trees and more, destined for use in school meals. As the growing season progresses, the garden and raised beds will be expanded to include warmer weather varieties.
“The students have taken such an ownership in this program this year…We began the year by cleaning the old lean-to Greenhouse on the Science Building and making it useable again. We then spent hours getting the half-acre plot of land ready to become a garden. The students have done all the work, from the beginning, right down to hoeing up the earth. They want to create a legacy for future students and they know just how important this new Community Garden is to the overall Garden to Table program and they are proud to be laying the foundation for it,” explained Jones.