Sowing Seeds of Knowledge
CISD Students Gain Lessons in Food Self-Sufficiency
Posted on 09/01/2022
This is the image for the news article titled CISD Students Gain Lessons in Food Self-SufficiencyLearning opportunities are blossoming in the Best Small District in Texas.

Students are learning valuable lessons in food self-sufficiency enabling them to organically produce herbs, fruits and vegetables through a grant from the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) in partnership with the National Immigrant Farming Initiative (NIFI).

CISD students are now getting to enjoy the fruits of their labor as the first round of crops of the seeds they helped sow are in bloom. Over the past four years, the District has been working with NIFI to bring this opportunity to students.

Together, they were able to build the fully functional Victory Greenhouse and plant boxes to grow a variety of organic foods such as peaches, watermelons, chives, basil, and corn to name a few.

“Canutillo has a lot of agricultural land and farms so I feel it is important for students to learn the cycle of food production,” said Coordinated School Health Facilitator Nancy Torres. “They get to be involved from start to finish and see how the food starts as a seed and with the proper care, develops into foods they recognize and are healthy food options free of any pesticides or harmful chemicals.”

Torres and CISD Director of Child Nutrition Marco Macias collaborated on the USDA grant with the goal of some of the food produced in the garden making its way to the various school cafeterias promoting healthy and organic eating for all students in the District.

In the future, another greenhouse is planned to make Bill Childress Elementary its home and the District hopes to expand the program to include more campuses and student involvement.

“We are teaching students about something we don’t have in our culture. Food self-sufficiency is a very integral part of lifestyles in other countries and we can help develop that here too,” said NIFI Executive Director Dr. Rigoberto Delgado. “We hope our program at Canutillo ISD can serve as a model to other districts and inspire others to learn about food self-sufficiency and make it a bigger part of our culture in the U.S.”