School garden project blooming across Cayman

| 30/11/2011

lighthouse (248x300).jpg(CNS) Project Grow, a school garden initiative spearheaded by Generali Worldwide, HSBC Bank (Cayman) Limited, and Vigoro Nursery, has now set up edible gardens in six local schools, officials said this week.  School Plant Days have taken place at Casa Montessori, Hope Academy, First Baptist Christian School, Lighthouse School, John A Cumber Primary and Cayman Prep High over the last few months. Annikki Brown, Country Manager for Generali Worldwide said she believed the enthusiasm and passion shown by the students and teachers involved means the programme is really going to bloom. 

“The students are getting their hands dirty planting their first seeds and seedlings and are actively involved in taking care of the their gardens, working with Vigoro Nursery to ensure success,” she said.

The school garden project helps students and teachers learn the principles of gardening through the development of sustainable school gardens. The program provides nutritional learning while promoting sustainable agriculture as a vehicle to teach children about healthy food and where it comes from.

The goal is to be able to give all schools in the Cayman Islands support for edible gardens. The importance of preserving the health of the youth of the Cayman Islands is critical and this project aims to help shift a mindset to a healthier overall lifestyle.
Due to the overwhelming response, Project Grow awarded 13 schools with a school garden and supporting curriculum, with direction from Vigoro Nursery, the programs supporting sponsor.

“It is very exciting to see projects of this nature materialize,” said Tom Balon of Vigoro Nursery “There can be so many benefits from them. Awareness of health and lifestyle is always important, and gardening, especially edibles can be very rewarding in all aspects of well-being. We are very excited at Vigoro Nursery and look forward to the continued success of the programme.”

The New Year will bring Plant Days to the remaining seven schools in the program for the 2011-2012 school year. Another open call for the 2012 – 2013 school-year will be announced in May 2012. Some of the program elements that are going to be administered throughout the school year are school Farmer’s Markets, garden crafts and composting, learning the elements of basic gardening and incorporating other school curriculum areas such as math, science and life skills to tie in all aspects of the program.  

Project Grow has a website with full program information, school pages and blog, links to press and school resources, along with a full photo gallery of the school Plant Days. Schools are also able to blog each other through the site and shareinformation and tips. 
Organisers say that Project Grow will help children learn the principles of gardening. The hands-on experience helps familiarize children with the many relationships and cycles within nature providing a link to healthy eating and nutritional choices.

The gardening experience itself brings other health benefits like exercise, time spent outdoors in the fresh air and a sense of well-being. It also offers new and exciting ways to address nutrition. By promoting agriculture, hands on experience and empowerment by knowledge, Project Grow will plant the seeds to better health.

“It is encouraging to see the enthusiasm and dedication shown by both the students and teachers to the program and its mission, said Gonzalo Jalles, HSBC Cayman CEO. “The Plant Days are the first step to building a sustainable garden and we look forward to watching each school garden grow and flourish in the coming months.” 

For more information on Project Grow, please email or visit

Category: Science and Nature

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