As part of the Rosarian Academy’s Green School Initiative for campus sustainability and developing its students’ stewardship of the planet, three new garden beds were added to the campus in October 2017.
A.J. Azqueta, class of 2010 alumnus and owner of Prana Plants & Gardens, installed the beds and has since worked with first grade teacher Mildred Acosta in helping the students cultivate the gardens.
Under the direction of Azqueta and Acosta, students were taught how to properly harvest the gardens earlier recently. Second graders Santino Merchan and Vivian Lanahan helped deliver two crates of fresh lettuce, kale, peas and other vegetables and herbs to the Joshua Catering Company, a social enterprise of the Lord’s Place, on Wednesday, Jan. 17.
“The gardens provide students with a deeper understanding of the relationship they have with nature,” Acosta said. “Students learn the importance of protecting natural resources and preserving the environment. They also develop a sense of citizenship, by growing crops and donating them to local community-based organizations. The act of community service supports one of Rosarian’s belief statements of educating students to make a positive difference in the world.”
The harvested veggies and herbs will now be used by the Joshua Catering Company, which provides full-service catering for businesses and other nonprofit organizations throughout Palm Beach County. All proceeds from Joshua Catering benefit the programs and services of the Lord’s Place, which works to end the cycle of homelessness. Joshua Catering provides jobs to individuals with significant barriers to employment and, in turn, helps them in their efforts to gain outside employment.
The Adrian Dominican Sisters underwrote Rosarian Academy’s Green School Initiative, including the expansion of the school’s vegetable gardens and the purchase of five new filtered water stations to reduce plastic bottle consumption.
Rosarian Academy, founded in 1925, educates students from early childhood through eighth grade. For more information, visit www.rosarian.org or call (561) 345-3106.