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Stella Maris School selling cilantro and other vegetables from school garden

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Posted: Friday, March 11, 2022. 1:30 pm CST.

Photo Credit: Wendy Williams

By Rubén Morales Iglesias: Stella Maris teacher Wendy Williams said Stella Maris School in Belize City is selling cilantro and other vegetables from its school garden.

“Fresh out of Stella Maris School Garden our students sell for $2 come out and support guys we have other vegetables on sale too,” Williams said in a social media post.

Williams said they also have sweet pepper, tomatoes, broccoli, eggplant, habanero pepper, and cucumber. Some are ready now, others will be later. Williams said they are planning to have a mini-market day at the school.

The Ministry of Agriculture, Food Security, and Enterprise (MAFSE) which has been involved in promoting urban gardening and has been collaborating with several schools and organizations couldn’t help but notice the Stella Maris post.

“Minister Mai has mentioned at several of these activities the benefits of raising one’s own produce for consumption and possible marketing,” said MAFSE Director of Communications Luis Pook.

The Stella Maris children and teachers have been planting these vegetables in open beds and a greenhouse at the school, though right now they are concentrating on the garden beds.

“It was an initiative from Minister Jose Mai. He gave us the seedlings. We planted them in the beds,” Williams said.

“We are trying to have our students, our special needs students’ plant, taking care of their plants, harvesting, have that first-hand experience, especially when it comes to sustainable development. Not only can they eat healthy fruits and vegetables, but they can also sell them too.

“We have the older students given that task to water the plants, take out the little dead weed, and sell around on the campus. I was telling the principal that we can have a little market day whereby we showcase everything that we have planted and harvested and have the students and the teachers selling,” Williams added.

“We’re trying to get our students more involved, bring the awareness that you can plant, you eat what you plant, you can make money from it. We’re trying to tap in on things that they are interested in because some of them like plants and they maybe turn out to be farmers. It’s hard work but it can make money. That’s what we’re doing.”

Williams said that right now they are looking for donations of seedlings, black soil, compost, and anything to do with farming so they can improve their school garden project.

Williams said that they also use their produce to assist the school’s daily feeding program for the students.

“We also have a chicken coop where we raise chickens and use the meat and eggs to cook and sell but we need donations to jump start,” she said, adding that COVID-19 caused the program to go on a standstill.

For donations, you may get in touch with Ms. Wendy Williams at 670-9404, Principal Ms. Francelia Cantun at 635-8328, or Stella Maris School at 224-4564.

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