Del Mar CA – The San Diego County Fair presented by Albertsons/Sav-on, has been teaching local school children the importance of cultivating edible produce for 25 years through the educational outreach program ‘Plant *Grow* Eat’. Promoting farming and education is the mission of the 22nd District Agricultural Association, and since 1989, hundreds of thousands of San Diego County school children have learned to plant, nurture and harvest their own food.
The brainchild of Chana Mannen, retired Exhibits Manager ‘Plant *Grow* Eat’ teaches elementary school children how to grow and care for their own gardening projects, and over the years has become an integral branch of the Fair’s school outreach program.
Every spring, Fair staff visit over 120 schools and furnish soil, seeds and planter boxes to over 30,000 students. The planting of radishes, lettuce baskets, and herbs culminates into a field trip to the Fair with thousands of schoolchildren bringing their produce to the Fair’s Farm to be judged by community volunteers. Along with free entry to the Fair, each child also receives a ribbon for their projects. Some kids show up with a bountiful crop while others bring a pot of dirt. Farming isn’t always easy or predictable! The ‘Plant *Grow* Eat’ program teaches children about science, plant care, and on a small scale, the challenges faced by farmers.
The San Diego County Fair recently visited elementary schools in Tijuana, Mexico to spread the word about nutrition and growing their own food. This year, 25 Tijuana schools were visited with more than 2000 kids participating.
In recent years, lack of school funding for buses has diminished the number of children who have been able to attend the Fair and take part in the Plant *Grow* Eat program. Five years ago, the Don Diego Scholarship Foundation began raising funds to provide grants to schools in need for transportation. Since then, 100 buses have been provided to bring students and chaperones to the Fair to participate in Plant*Grow*Eat. To date, many young school teachers who grew up participating in the program now bring their own classes to the Fair to participate in this program.
The cost of a bus to transport children to the Fair for the ‘Plant *Grow* Eat’ program is approximately $300. The Don Diego Scholarship Foundation is a 501(c) (3) and donation of any amount are welcome at: www.dondiegoscholarship.org.
About the San Diego County Fair
Here comes the FUN! “The Fab Fair” is the theme for the 2014 San Diego County Fair, presented by Albertsons/Sav-on, paying tribute to the British Invasion that revolutionized the music industry 50 years ago in United States and around the world. The 2014 Fair will feature British Pop Culture, music and exhibitions NEVER BEFORE seen in California. The Summer starts with Food, Fun and Frolic at the 2014 San Diego County Fair!
The Fair will open on Saturday June 7 and run through Sunday, July 6; closed on Mondays and the first two Tuesdays. The San Diego County Fair is the largest annual event in San Diego County and one of the top 10 Fairs in the United States and Canada, drawing more than 1.4 million visitors annually. Admission is $14 for adults; $8 for ages 6-12 and 62 and older; free for ages 5 and younger.
For more information visit, www.sdfair.com.