BriarPatch Food Co-op Launches Apples for Gardens Program

The BriarPatch Food Co-op just introduced a new program to create more access to fresh food education for our local students! In addition to the many other ways they contribute to the community, BriarPatch Food Co-op recently launched the new Apples for Gardens Program, which leverages the sales of apples at the Co-op to support school gardens at 11 local schools.  Each month, the BriarPatch Food Co-op will donate ten cents for every pound of apples sold in the store to support the garden education.  And that’s no small number either, in 2019 the Co-op sold 77 tons of apples! 

Despite the current practice of distance learning at our school campuses, there are still 11 lovingly tended gardens at our local schools that are just waiting for students to return to campus.  And when it’s time for the kids to come back, thanks to this program (and each and every apple!), the gardens will be ready to receive them.

The first apple fund award went out in August to Chicago Park School.  Principal Katie Kohler raved,  “The Apples for Schools is a fantastic program! We have been able to extend our Garden Teacher’s hours this year so that students will have more time in the garden. Our teacher also has more time to maintain and expand our current program!” 

Historically, finding ongoing funding sources to support the upkeep of school gardens has been a difficult task.  “School gardens often fall victim to budgets or a dedicated volunteer who needs to move on to their next project. This new partnership between BriarPatch Food Co-op , the County Office of Education and Sierra Harvest will allow for school gardens to outlast any one funding source or incredible volunteer and provide exponential ways for kids to explore their natural world in relation to food, their health and their environment,” said Aimee Retzler, Co-Director of Sierra Harvest.

Schools supported by the program include: Chicago Park , Lyman Gilmore , Deer Creek , Seven Hills,, Ready Springs , Williams Ranch, Alta Sierra , Cottage Hill, Union Hill, Yuba River Charter and Nevada City School of the Arts.

“I think this is a wonderful collaboration between BriarPatch Food Co-op , Sierra Harvest and our schools to help fund school site gardens. These gardens are such an important learning tool for students on where food comes from and this is a great way for the community to help by simply buying apples!,” said Scott Lay, Nevada County Superintendent of Schools.

They say, “An apple a day keeps the doctor away” and now your apple is even more powerful!  So pick up some apples and do your part to support the BriarPatch Food Co-op Apples for Gardens Program.