Promoting Food Sustainability

AP Environmental Science students grow organic microgreens with local company Gourmet Greens.

In Mary Greenlee’s AP Environmental Science classes, students are taught that promoting sustainability involves thinking innovatively when it comes to food production. The class got to see this concept in action when they had a guest visit this week from Gourmet Greens, an urban farm in downtown Richmond that grows, harvests, and distributes organic microgreens.

David Peyton and John Gordon, the owners and founders of Gourmet Greens, spoke to the classes on Thursday, January 19 in the Bryan Innovation Lab and shared their story of starting a local company in their own backyard. The pair sells their carefully grown greens to customers at the St. Stephen’s Farmers Market, as well as to chefs at local restaurants such as The Daily Kitchen & Bar and The Savory Grain.

Using their professional knowledge, the duo helped students plant their own microgreen seeds in small soil plots and gave them advice on proper maintenance to yield a successful harvest.

“Our goal was to show the students what can be done with a finite amount of space and a few simple tools,” Mr. Peyton said. “[Our business] started as an initial idea and turned into something that is fun and educational, and we’re excited to provide enrichment based around a delicious, nutritional product.”

Senior Chris Koerner said: “I was interested in the locality of their business and how they’re literally running a company in their own backyard. It’s really cool to see how two people can do that with such a seemingly simple idea.”

A few days after planting, Mrs. Greenlee and a few of her students observed that some of the plants had developed a fuzzy growth on their leaves. They hypothesized that these plants were producing root hairs in order to receive more water and nutrients from the soil. The students will continue to nurture the plants; they expect to harvest them in the coming days.

Mrs. Greenlee said the project with Gourmet Greens fit perfectly into their current study of natural vs. artificial soils and growth systems because it serves as an example of how one can control and manipulate plant growth to produce a commercial product. In addition, it teaches the students about the importance of using the resources around them to promote a healthy food culture.

“Food innovation is all about analyzing your food supply and figuring out how we can influence or control what we eat, how we receive food, and how it’s prepared,” she said. “Microgreens are a perfect example because it can be grown naturally or commercially, so anyone can learn to do it and grow a product that is nutritious and sustainable.”

Director of the Bryan Innovation Lab Cary Jamieson added: “Mary has been such a strong advocate and partner for exploring food innovation through the lens of sustainability, research, and bio-chemistry. Developing connections with local entrepreneurs and inviting them to share their process with students has been a powerful step in understanding the potential of a quickly evolving food and packaging industry. Students are being inspired on a local level but they are also developing an understanding of the long term possibilities within this industry.”

 

 

 

Copyright 2019 The Steward School

The Steward School Mission

Our mission at The Steward School is to prepare our students for college and for life in a community defined by robust academics, inspiration, engagement, and care. We invite you to learn why so many families have chosen to become part of our community.

 

Explore Campus      Learn from the Experts

Experience "The Steward Way"

The Steward School is committed to the kind of education that recognizes individuality and fosters potential through a differentiated approach. If you value small class sizes, close connections with faculty and fellow students, and a challenging yet supportive academic environment with broad opportunities, then Steward may be the right school for you.

 

Learn More     Schedule a Visit    Apply Online

An Education as Unique as Your Child

We are proud to offer a comprehensive curriculum to students in junior kindergarten through twelfth grade. Discover the incredible opportunities we provide for each learner.

 

Lower School     Middle School     Upper School

Explore the World of the Arts

Whether setting the stage, striking a chord, creating a masterpiece, or simply exploring individual talents and interests, exposure to the arts develops important life skills necessary for students to succeed in academic areas and everyday life experiences. By providing our students with multiple creative outlets, we seek to nurture talents, build confidence, and help students discover passions.

 

Visual Arts     Music     Theatre

One School. One Team.

Participation, skill building, and sportsmanship are the cornerstones of The Steward School’s athletic program. At all levels, our coaching program is dedicated to giving students the training and experience necessary to develop a lifelong appreciation of physical activity, skill development, and, above all, teamwork.

 

Athletic Calendar     Sports Programs

A New Way of Learning

The Bryan Innovation Lab is a 21st-century, problem-solving environment. Through experiential learning in this cutting-edge facility, students are able to grapple with real world issues, challenging their critical thinking and resourcefulness.

 

Explore the Lab

Beyond the Classroom

The Steward School is a place of learning for the greater Richmond community through various campus programs. Whether you're interested in attending our annual gala, signing your child up for one of our summer camps, or learning more about LEAP, we welcome you to the Steward community.

 

Special Events     Summer Experience

It's for Steward Students!

Your gift helps ensure that each student recieves the best educational experieance at Steward. Learn more about the Steward50 campaign, annual giving, and other ways to support Steward.

 

Learn More     Give Today