An average class lesson starts with the reading of an age appropriate book concerning nature, agriculture, or nutrition. Following the story, children taste four fruits and ten vegetables. Previous foods offered include apples, oranges, strawberries, blueberries, pears, kiwi, broccoli, tomatoes, bok choy, microgreens, spinach, green beans, peas, carrots, celery, and red onion. This portion of the class takes about 30 minutes, with an additional five minutes to taste the vegetables the children have grown themselves in the boxes.
In addition to the classroom mobile greenhouse, CHMF has a 100 square foot growing greenhouse to meet the needs of those it serves. The greenhouse has heating, air conditioning, and five 200-watt grow lights to ensure year-round growth. This facility travels every few days from one PreK to another, fitting the whole PreK Counts program into one greenhouse.
CHMF also aims to build a micro garden within the classroom. This will function in the form of a 2 foot tall table holding 14 inch square boxes, equipped with a grow light to offer 16 hours of artificial sunlight per day. Herbs such as cilantro, parsley, thyme, and dill will be grown in these spaces. This will give the children access to these materials as well as provide a classroom green space. CHMF will install a 4x16 feet raised garden so that the children can grow their vegetables. These raised gardens will be used May through June and again in September and October when the school year begins. This raised garden allows for the plants to be transplanted from the greenhouse, and offers both the plants and the children outside time. It also gives CHMF time to update and maintain the mobile greenhouses.
Our produce is sourced year round from local farms, markets, and our own greenhouses that are heated year round.
Our Pre-K students get the opportunity to learn more about nature, agriculture, as well as fresh fruits and vegetables through reading and trying a variety of fruits and vegetables grown locally & within the CHMF greenhouses.