School Programs

Nutrition sessions featuring Mahwah High School students

High School Senior Makes A Difference:

At the beginning of August when temperatures are as extreme as we have experienced them this summer, either stifling hot or torrential downpour, the last thing in a young person’s mind is volunteering outdoors. Not so for Lauren Williams, a graduate from Holy Angels, who spent the last few days of her summer volunteering at the Havemeyer Edible Garden & Bee Hives. Undeterred by the hot sun and dampness, she spent countless hours weeding the garden so that the tomatoes, peppers, and eggplants would flourish and be ready for harvesting later this summer when Ramapo College students returned to campus.

Dr. Jacqueline Ehlert-Mercer conducts the nutrition and growing food training session for students living in sustainable housing at the College. She points out “the fresh fruits and vegetables are the leading stars of my training, without them I would not be able to teach”. She is very grateful for the hard work and efforts of volunteers such as Lauren.

In 2009 when Leah Peterson joined the team at the Havemeyer Edible Garden & Bee Hives she was only in grade 10. Immediately she filled the garden with a contagious enthusiasm that infected other students she recruited from Mahwah High School to participate in the Havemeyer Edible Garden & Bee Hives High School Programs. The program consists of a series of nutrition and growing food sessions that take place at the garden and outside of the garden. Each session is intended to expose students to growing and eating sustainable fruits and vegetables as well as preparing them.

The major themes discussed during these sessions include:

  • Where food comes from
  • The concept of food miles
  • Local eating and a sustainable diet
  • Fruits and vegetables that are not only good for you but also for the environment
  • Film viewing and discussion
  • Planning for an edible garden
  • Planting your edible garden