Chair: Kate Gitnick
The newly combined garden, green, and wellness committees are now Green and Healthy 107! To volunteer, please visit the Green & Healthy Committee page on Konstella.
- work with students and teachers to maintain and expand the Sunshine Garden
- plan and coordinate field trips to green markets and farms
- establish classroom-based wellness/gardening/environmental education opportunities
- promote recycling and reduction of energy use in the schools
- work with parent-run non-profit organizations to feature garden or local produce in the cafeteria whenever feasible
- improve and ‘green’ overall cafeteria experience, including eliminating Styrofoam trays, promoting recycling, murals on cafeteria walls and sound reduction
- coordinate Garden to Cafeteria Harvest Day in conjunction with School Food
- collaborate with local and national organizations on wellness and environmental issues
- pursue funding opportunities through foundations and other grant making institutions
School Lunch and School Food Information
PS107 serves the K-8 Alternative Lunch Menu. The alternative menu serves items like “grilled chicken strips with shredded cheese” in place of “southwest style beef with shredded cheese” (Sept 4th 2013) or “chickpea falafel” in place of “crispy chicken strips” (Sept 30th 2013). We also work with Wellness in the Schools (WITS) whose mission is to inspire healthy eating, environmental awareness and fitness as a way of life for kids in public schools.
PS107 does not serve chocolate milk. Together with you, Green and Healthy 107! seeks to push School Food into providing the freshest, tastiest foods with the fewest fillers, additives, and unnecessary sugars. Taking chocolate milk out of our cafeteria is not about whether our children have one or two chocolate milks during the week, it is about the fact that 80% of flavored milk sold in America is sold in schools. It is about leading change in this city where some children’s only source of milk is chocolate milk served at school.
Sunshine Garden Info
The Sunshine Garden was established in 2008 to nurture science knowledge, teach gardening skills, promote environmental awareness and stewardship, improve agricultural literacy, and encourage healthy eating for all students at PS 107.
The Sunshine Garden employs a variety of planters, Earth Boxes, and seven large handmade raised beds including one in front of the school. We’ve grown an assortment of produce including lettuce, carrots, kale, chard, green beans, okra, garlic, corn, berries, and radishes, as well as herbs such as basil, parsley, mint, and dill.
Four years since its inception, we are proud of what the garden—a green space on otherwise concrete school grounds—has succeeded in doing for our students. The students now have a better understanding of food origins and the value of freshly grown produce, which has led to improved eating at home and in school. The garden has also enhanced the science curriculum for all students with experiential, collaborative, hands-on learning.
- Annie’s Homegrown Garden Grants Program
- Astor Medical Group
- Brooklyn Community Foundation (formerly Independence Community Foundation)
- Captain Planet Foundation
- Grant AeroGrow Growing Kids Award
- GROW-To-Learn of GROW NYC
- Kids Growing Food, New York Agriculture in the Classroom of Cornell University
- Lowe’s Toolbox for Education
- NYC Department of Sanitation
- NYC Green Thumb
- Park Slope Civic Council
- Project Learning Tree Greenworks! Community Action & Service Learning
- PTO Today
- Seed Matters
- Toshiba America Foundation
- Welch’s Harvest Grant
- Whole Kids Foundation
- Youth Garden Grant of the National Gardening Association
In addition to the administrators, teachers, custodians, many parents who have supported the garden, the following merchants, organizations, and individuals have also generously contributed to the garden’s success:
Baker Creek Seed Company, Birds Nest Foundation, Botanical Interests, Brooklyn Botanic Garden GreenBridge and Education Department, Brooklyn Farms, Bryan Quinn of One Nature, Bussaco Restaurant, Colbond, Colorblends, Dan O’Leary Carpentry, Dyke’s Lumber, FEDCO Seeds, Flower House, Foxgloves, Inc., Garden of Union, Gateway Greenhouse Education Center, GROW NYC, Hydrofarm, Leopoldi’s Hardware Store, Liberty Sunset Garden Center, Operation Green Plant of the America the Beautiful Fund, Rose Red & Lavendar, Seed Savers Exchange, Shannon Nursery & Florist, Silver Heights Farm, Stokes Seeds, Tarzian True Value Hardware, NYC GreenThumb
The PS 107 Sunshine Garden was honored with a two-page spread as a featured school garden in Michelle Obama’s book, American Grown. (If you purchase the book through the Amazon link on the right, some of the proceeds will be donated back to PS 107!)
As part of the promotion for her book, Mrs. Obama invited students from PS 107 to plant seeds with her on Good Morning America! Click to watch the video.
To read more articles about the PS 107 Sunshine Garden, visit our In the News page.
PS107 serves lunch on compostable sugar cane trays four days a week. Most NYC public school children eat school lunch on Styrofoam trays. The PS107 PTA pays the price difference between Styrofoam trays and compostable trays. Green and Healthy 107! is working to find ways to compost the trays.
All NYC schools participate in Trayless Tuesdays. Every Tuesday, School Food serves non-saucy foods in paper boats. The boats are even recyclable if they are clean and dry. According to Cafeteria Culture, the non-profit that helped launch Trayless Tuesdays in March 2010, 70 million fewer Styrofoam trays have been used in NYC schools since the start of the program.
Harvest Day is an annual event that is a collaboration between School Food’s Garden to Café program and Green & Healthy 107! Our cafeteria staff, Ms. Lillian and Ms. Kathy prepare a special school lunch and salad bar with items grown in our very own Sunshine Garden. Our WITS chef Laura Hoffman prepares dishes for the children (and adults!) to try. Students can then vote on which item they want added to the cafeteria menu!
Thanks to a generous donation from Vitamix, a juice station offers up some new juices for the students. On the menu: Green Juice with Kale; Beet, Apple, Mint Juice; and Apple Carrot Juice.
Week of Wonder
Week of Wonder is our week-long celebration of the garden, the earth, our minds and bodies.
Pumpkin Bread — Harvest Day 2016
Best Dill Pickles Ever — Harvest Day 2016
Maple Roasted Parsnips — Harvest Day 2016
Rice Noodle Salad — Prepared by Melissa Vaughan for Harvest Day 2016
White Bean Dip with Toasted Pita Wedges — Harvest Day 2016
Pumpkin Bars — Harvest Day 2014
Kale Salad with Cilantro Dressing — The 2013 Harvest Day Hands-Down Kid Favorite!
Fruit and Vegetable Smoothies — Harvest Day 2013
Zesty Black Bean Burgers — Prepared by Melissa Vaughan for Harvest Day 2013
Eggplant Caponata — Harvest Day 2013
Sesame-Ginger Kale Slaw — Harvest Day 2009
Kate Gitnick, Chair