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The Episcopal School in North Philadelphia

Today marked an important first step in St. James School’s effort to expand the edible schoolyard program.

After a year of learning how to grow fresh, organic and tasty vegetables & herbs for our school and neighborhood the school shared a harvest with two Center City Philadelphia food establishments. Students harvested and prepared a large crop of basil to be sold to Di Bruno Brothers (one of Philadelphia’s well known cheese suppliers and gourmet catering companies) and Quick Fixx Restaurant (a newer restaurant in Center City).

Bill Mignucci, co-owner of Di Bruno Brothers, recently visited St. James School and quickly saw an opportunity for partnership. Charles Reinhardt, co-owner of Quick Fixx, has served the St. James School for many years as a volunteer and a member of the school’s advisory board.

Benefits of School Garden

The basil project began with planting the herb in the school’s garden in early May. Tending to new plants taught students responsibility and teamwork. It provided an opportunity to bring science, math and social studies, as well as language and visual arts to life through hands-on learning.

The school garden allows children to taste the wonders of fresh food. Plus, parents, students and teachers can all enjoy the growing feeling of community that comes from sharing a new adventure. The basil was harvested, weighed and prepared for packaging and shipping to Center City. For close to two hours on Friday, everyone at St. James School enjoyed the wonderful aroma of basil throughout the school. Students learned the ins and outs of weighing, measuring, researching market values and how to present their newly harvested product.

The first batch of basil was delivered to Di Bruno Brothers new commissary kitchen, located at 435 Fairmount Avenue. The next batch of basil will be prepared for QuickFixx later next week.