Urban gardens and farmers markets
Farm Lab at Arroyo High School
The Farm Lab at Arroyo High School in El Monte, California, gives students the opportunity to grow their own organic food and study how urban green spaces impact the health and wellness of their community.
The Farm Lab encompasses an aquaponics system, garden beds, an outdoor kitchen, a garden labyrinth and a demonstration garden.
Arroyo High School will be incorporating the Farm Lab into the STEAM curriculum to promote agriculture and environmental careers and teach students about the links between diet and disease, including cancer.
The Farm Lab is managed by Eco Urban Gardens, one of City of Hope’s 2017 Healthy Living Grant Community Benefit recipients.
In food deserts, pop-up farmers markets provide access to affordable, fresh fruits and vegetables. With funding the Hilton Foundation, City of Hope launched pop-up markets at Beardslee Academy in Duarte, California, and La Primaria Elementary School in El Monte — where access to healthy food is a challenge for the local communities.
In order to jumpstart sustainable, nutritious food systems, City of Hope staff trained the students and teachers to run future farmers markets, e.g., how to manage inventory, set up the stands, calculate costs and profits and store excess produce.
In addition to improving the students’ knowledge, behavior and intake related to fruits and vegetables, participants said that they enjoyed the project.
Garden of Hope and cooking classes
The Garden of Hope is an organic food garden on our main campus in Duarte. Thirty varieties of vegetables, fruits and flowers are grown in the garden’s five-foot-tall hydroponic system, and nearly 90% of the food served in the hospital cafeteria and patient rooms is made on site, which contributes to a healthier food system overall.
In addition to providing organic produce, the garden also raises awareness of how nutrition can help prevent cancer and diabetes. Every Friday, volunteers convene to work in the garden and learn sustainable cultivation techniques.