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Apple Seeds Teaching Farm – “Arkansas AMI”

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Apple Seeds, Inc., is a non-profit organization started in 2007 with a mission to inspire healthy living through garden-based education. We have grown from the seed of an idea into a two-acre teaching farm at Gulley Park in Fayetteville, Arkansas, and our reach goes much further. We are working with students not only at our farm and in our teaching kitchen but also in schools across Northwest Arkansas. In 2019, we reached more than 10,000 students, harvested more than 3,000 pounds of produce and were powered by more than 5,000 volunteer hours!

Kale is grown in the Apple Seeds teaching farm’s high tunnel.

Adapting for 2020

2020 is a very different year, and the Apple Seeds team is rapidly adapting.

Our focus is two-fold:

  1. Continuing to educate and enable students to learn about and pursue good nutrition.
  2. Continuing to plant, grow, harvest and deliver fresh produce, along with winning recipes, into the hands of Northwest Arkansas students alongside school food distribution programs with a special focus on food insecure families. We have delivered over 800 pounds of fresh produce over the past four weeks and will continue to deliver to those who need it! Additionally, we are now actively planting for summer harvest to keep nutritious food going to those families who need it most.

Students use cutting boards to prep vegetables in the Apple Seeds teaching kitchen.

Apple Seeds’ Cooking in the Schools Program Highlight:

We debunk the myth that kids can’t cook and can’t make their own food choices. We make learning about nutrition and how it plays into your body’s ability to function fun. We want to contribute to students having healthy relationships with their bodies and to how they perceive their bodies and their bodies’ capabilities.

  • Education about nutrition is incorporated into a simple recipe.
  • Students understand and have a desire to make healthier choices in their diets.
  • Students build up a tool kit for how to make healthy food on their own. They build a sense of empowerment through skills and knowledge.
  • The goal is to increase the consumption of vegetables and fruits to tackle hunger with healthy food.
  • And it’s working: 48% of elementary students used a nutrition label to make healthier food choices after “Cooking in the Schools.” We are delighted to be able to share our “Cooking in the Schools” program with students across the state!

    A student uses wash basins on the Apple Seeds teaching farm.

    Mostly, we are focused on the day when the farm is again filled with students learning about the life cycle of plants, how to harvest fresh vegetables and fruits and the amazing sense of accomplishment those students enjoy after learning a recipe and cooking skills!

    Sunflowers growing on the Apple Seeds teaching farm

    Connect with Apple Seeds, Inc.:

    Apple Seeds, Inc., is made up of a small but mighty team of 9 who are learning, growing and adapting during these times. Currently, we have to do it without volunteers. We continue to plant and grow fresh produce on our two acres at Gulley Park in Fayetteville for distribution to food insecure students along with winning recipes that have been student-tested and approved. We are facing each new challenge head-on, knowing that growing and sharing food will always remain a top need. We will remain a strong resource for the community so long as the hands of the community hold us up through this time.