Villa Del Rey Elementary celebrates ground breaking of school garden

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BATON ROUGE, La. (BRPROUD) “I am so excited, I can’t get over it,” Villa Del Rey Elementary, Dr. Joy Abernathy-Dyer, Principal said.

Villa Del Rey Elementary celebrated a new project in their backyard, the school’s own community garden.

Partnering with Sweet Jones Farms, the elementary school created a garden on campus for students to learn, plant, grow and sell produce.

“We’re teaching kids about all aspects. Learning how to plant food, where food comes from, how it is distributed and then were going to take that a little step further by having our kids learn how to cook,” Dyer said.

J’Quincy Jones, Louisiana farmer and owner of Sweet Jones Farms, collaborated with the school to pass on his passion of farming to a younger generation.

“It’s all about the kids,” Jones said. “Most of the kids that I’ve met never seen an apple on a apple tree.”

The school plans to give back to the community with the produce grown by students. Principal Dyer is looking forward to selling student grown crops at a local farmers market. The revenue will then go back to Villa Del Rey.

“It’s a win win situation,” Dyer said. “We will be selling things that have been harvested from our garden.”

Jones says he is happy to farm for his whole life and his life calling is to educate others about farming.

“This is my commitment to make the world a better place, I am going to make as many more farmers as I can,” Jones said.

Council woman, Donna Collins-Lewis, was happy to see students one with nature.

“If they can grow their own see them coming up out of the ground and knowing that it is something they had a part in and a hand in and then cooking it for themselves, it’s a greater experience for them,” Lewis said.

Principal Dyer believes students should expect their crops growing in a few weeks.

Students will plant items including, squash, pumpkin and spices.

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