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Children harvest fruits of their labor at Augie Acres

July  14, 2014

Augie Acres, Augustana's student-operated garden, and the Rock Island Hy-Vee grocery store have developed a gardening and nutrition program for local children as part of Hy-Vee's One Step program.

Augie Acres student interns have been hosting summer camps from the Martin Luther King, Jr. Center and Broadway Presbyterian Church at the garden and at Hy-Vee.

Augie interns and Hy-Vee nutritionist Chrissy Watters taught the lessons, including how to plant, grow and harvest food as well as the basics of food production and nutrition.

This week, Rock Island elementary school children will have the opportunity to see their work pay off as they harvest the produce they planted earlier this summer at Augie Acres.

"The program has been a great success in introducing children to urban gardening," said Augie Acres intern Christian Montbriand, an engineering physics and geography major from Bartlett, Ill. "I've thoroughly enjoyed working with the kids and teaching them about where their food comes from."

In addition to hosting camps, the Augie Acres interns keep busy over the summer selling produce at the weekly Freight House Farmers Market in Davenport. Their booth can be found in the aisle nearest the railroad tracks.

This is the sixth year of the Augie Acres initiative. The garden is a set of vacant lots leased from the city of Rock Island plus  larger adjoining plots owned by the college. The idea for Augie Acres sprouted from the environmental learning community classes when students talked about and thought about such issues as global warming, the cost of energy, the trend toward buying healthy, locally grown food and sustainable growing methods.

Sam Schlouch
Director, Public Relations and Arts Promotion
(309) 794-7833
samschlouch@augustana.edu