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Henry County Bringing Farm to School

By: Sarah Cantey Email
By: Sarah Cantey Email

It’s not a ranking to be pleased with, Alabama is the 2nd most obese state in the country.

In fact just in Henry County 1 in 4 people are at risk of having obesity weigh them down.

But with more than $6,500 in grant money, Leslie Danzey has a vision for change.

It might be an empty field now but come summer time it will be full of hundreds of plants, producing thousands of pounds of vegetables every 45 days.

A 30 by 82 foot greenhouse, raised beds and normal gardens for fresh fruits and vegetables are on horizon for Headland Middle School.

An investment that will pay of for not only student nutrition but also the school’s food budget.

Leslie Danzey, Director Child Nutrition Program said, “Due to the economy romaine lettuce has been very expensive. And we have spent thousands of dollars.”

Student curriculum will grow with hands-on science and health lessons, something teachers hope plants life-long healthy habits.

Kevin Sanders, Principal Headland Middle said, “We want to teach them what they need to know for college, but we also want to teach them what they need for life. And if we teach them how to eat healthy, how to grow their own vegetables…that is something that I didn’t do growing up, I have a garden now but I wish I would have done this when I was in school.”

All ideas to promote a healthy middle school and hopefully a healthy Alabama.

Organizers expect the garden and greenhouse to produce food for the five Henry County schools by the start of next school year.

Henry County Board of Education members say they can expand the farm to school program to all of their schools.


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