On Tuesday, the scent of fresh greens filled the air on the lawn at Albert Einstein Medical Center, and it was not from the beautifully landscaped grass. It was the aroma of basil and collard greens that were sold at their first farmers market.
The farmers market was a partnership between Einstein’s LiveWell employee wellness program and Seeds for Learning, a farming and entrepreneurship program based at Martin Luther King Jr. High School.
Kathy Brady, the health and wellness manager at Einstein, said they were excited to work with Seeds for Learning because of the need for healthy food in the community.
“We are in a location where there are not a lot of stores around, we really promote healthy eating, want to provide recipes and want to make it fun,” said Brady.
Seeds for Learning is run by a non-profit organization called Foundations, Inc. that is committed to improving education by providing hands-on learning. Natalie Lucas, director for after-school and expanded-learning offerings at Foundations, Inc., said “we don’t expect all [students] to be farmers. … [T]here are other skills that they gain”
Students also learn about nutrition and what Lucas called “21st century skills” including teamwork, communication and planning, which is essential to the student’s success as they join the work force or go to college.
Armani Gordon-Key, a senior at MLK Jr. High who began working with the program for a summer job, said he learned how to do presentations, office work and how to cook.
“It’s the best thing that’s happened to me because it keeps me off the streets,” Gordon-Key said. “I got a big positive thing to do with my time.
He plans to continue utilizing what he has learned in the program in his own garden some day.
Organizers hope to make the farmers market a regular event.