Healthy Harvest Urban Farms is a locally-owned organic grocery store located in Downtown Rock Island, on the Illinois side of the Quad Cities. The store is also home to the Green Garden Café, the Quad Cities only exclusively organic, vegan café! The family-owned grocery store is proud to offer shelves full of locally-grown organic produce from a network of farmers across the area, along with many other staple products and specialty items. The organic, vegan café features fresh, plant-based smoothies, salads, sandwiches, wraps, soups and handmade gourmet pizzas. The owners, Chad and Nieko Summers, have made it their mission to offer quality, affordable healthy foods to the community and are committed to sharing their knowledge to educate the community about health, nutrition and the need for a sustainable food system.
What you may not know about this father-son team is that they are also the founders of Sprouting Minds, a 501(c)(3) Non-profit organization. Sprouting Minds was created with the intention of educating the youth in our community about how their food is actually grown as participants in the programs prep and plant their own gardens, care for them, and see them through the harvest. The organization partners with local schools to develop a plan for their on-site school gardens and program leaders work with the school’s instructors to integrate the program into classroom curriculum. Students care for the gardens and are taught lessons on the food process from seed to plate. The program also teaches a lesson in service and compassion as each harvest from the school gardens are donated to the local food pantry or organization of the school’s choice to help local families in need. The latest development to the programs is to integrate the harvests into the school lunchrooms, events and activities and offer all students daily access to quality, healthy organic produce! All Sprouting Minds programs come at zero cost to the schools. It is the hope of the founders and board of Sprouting Minds that these partnerships foster the beginning of a transitional generational shift for these students and their families.
In their first year of school partnerships and programs, Sprouting Minds partnered with fifth and sixth grade students from a private school in East Moline. Through participation of approximately 30 students, their teachers and families, the small group planted, cared for and harvested over 2300 pounds of produce in the Spring and Summer months, of which 100% was donated to a local food pantry. They have now partnered with two Quad City High Schools to develop and plant giving gardens on their school grounds. The largest program for 2019 is a partnership with The Friends of Hauberg Civic Center Foundation to restore the 3+ acre Terraced Gardens at the Hauberg Estate to their original design. Sprouting Minds volunteers will work with fifth and sixth grade students from a nearby Rock Island school to restore the historical gardens, implement harvests into their school meals and help school families in need!
For more information about Sprouting Minds organization or find out how you can help, please contact 309-235-1330, email firstname.lastname@example.org, or stop into Healthy Harvest Urban Farms at 1616-2nd Avenue, Rock Island, IL between the hours of 10a-7p Monday through Friday, 10a-6p Saturdays, or 10a-5p Sundays.
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