CORAL SPRINGS, FL – In the back of Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, a small field is giving life to tomatoes, cucumbers, mangos, and other fruits and vegetables.

For years, students and teachers have planted seeds and trees and built a hydroponic garden and flower beds in the area known as Marjory’s Garden.

They toiled there to learn about gardening, get service hours, and hang out with friends, but teachers acknowledged there wasn’t much of a higher purpose for the initiative.

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Until now.

In the coming months, the produce grown on the land will be sold at nearby Tunie’s Market in Coral Springs as part of a new cooperative between the organic grocery store and the Parkland school.

Tunie’s Market managers plan to create a nonprofit to oversee the partnership and proceeds will be returned to the school to maintain the garden and expand it.

“It’s an exciting new direction,” said Kyle Jeter, the school’s astronomy teacher who helped create the garden years ago.

On Saturday morning, close to 20 students, staff, and Tunie’s Market managers gathered at Marjory’s Garden to harvest vegetables, pick flowers, and clear weeds from the land that also includes a dome for the school’s astronomy program, seats and a screen for an outdoor classroom, and a corner for students to sit and reflect.

The new partnership was on the minds of those in attendance, especially the “farm-to-table” concept.

With Tunie’s Market about a mile from the school, it will now be easier for local residents to get fresh vegetables and fruits grown in their community, said Audra Walter, who manages Tunie’s Market with her husband, Dave Weishaus.

“This is an opportunity for everyone in the community to take part,” she said.   

Weishaus also plans to work with MSD’s students in the DECA business program to create the nonprofit for Marjory’s Garden and run it.

“This will be a full circle – we’ll work with the school to get the produce and get the students involved on the business side of it,” he said.

Tunie’s Market plans to start selling produce from the garden on Earth Day on April 22.

(Tunie’s Market is an advertiser of TAPinto Coral Springs.)

 

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