Welcome to the latest edition of Living Sustainably.
Recently we passed by a local Vallejo high school, just as the students were breaking for lunch. Ice cream trucks trolled the surrounding area, and soon attracted a queue of customers. While we didn't stop to test our assumption, we think it's a good bet that these vendors aren't promoting fresh fruit with the same intensity that they are selling ice cream and candy. If they are selling fruit at all.
Nevertheless the word about healthier food options is getting out around Vallejo in some innovative ways, thanks to a joint initiative between Stretch Island Fruit Co., and the Fruit Tree Planting Foundation (FTPF). Stretch has made a name for itself in the sustainable food niche with its all-natural fruit snacks brand, a line of fruit rolls, Non-GMO Project Verified Fruit Strips, and Fruit Chews. FTPF is an international nonprofit charity dedicated to planting fruitful trees and shrubs to benefit communities, alleviate world hunger, combat global warming. The nonprofit has benefited a broad range of places including: public schools, homeless shelters, drug rehabs, low-income neighborhoods, international hunger relief sites, and animal sanctuaries.
Last December Friends of Loma Vista Farm hosted Stretch Island Fruit Co., and The Fruit Tree Planting Foundation’s (FTPF), joint program ‘Fruit Tree 101, a project that was also held at only two other elementary schools in the Bay Area (located in Richmond and San Rafael).
Within three days students at all three schools planted more than 150 lush fruit trees and shrubs up to seven feet tall on school property. During the hands-on workshop, a ‘Fruit Tree 101’ educator also talked to the students about environmental concepts and the many benefits of healthy eating.
While 'fresh fruit' trucks may not be circling Vallejo high schools in the near future, there's a distinct possibility that some of these Loma Vista students, given the opportunity to experience fruit from the ground up, may make more healthy food choices.
Stay tuned! Loma Vista Farm has long been in the forefront for educating students and the surrounding Vallejo community about sustainable lifestyles. Now Loma Vista Elementary is transitioning to an Environmental Academy and incorporating the farm as part of their K-6 curriculum. In a future posting you will find out more about this exciting venture.
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