Plant the Seed’s executive director, Susannah Fotopulos, accepted an award at the Second Annual Nashville Community Iftar on July 10th, co-hosted by the Faith and Culture Center and Metro Human Relations Commission. The Iftar is one example of FCC’s efforts to overcome Islamophobia and replace it with strong relationships that respect each culture and each faith in its own identity. Plant the Seed was recognized for its long-standing partnership with Nashville International Academy and three-year garden program there that is fully integrated into the K-7th grade classes.
“We are humbled and honored to be recognized for our work in bringing diverse young people together to grow, prepare and share food. Plant the Seed was built on this idea that communities can be strengthened over good food and shared memories. When young people work in the garden alongside others from different backgrounds, there’s an opportunity to see their shared humanity and the things they have in common. And Plant the Seed helps to create a safe space of learning and growing, so that if a student has some real curiosities about differences, then we use the garden or the table as a way to talk about those in a kind and open manner.”
As a result of the partnership between PTS and NIA, the garden has grown to nearly an acre that includes 10 raised beds, fruit trees and berry bushes, perennial herbs, a water catchment system, a three-bin compost system and garden classes with every student kindergarten through seventh grade.
Plant the Seed is grateful to be recognized for our work with children of all faith backgrounds. We look forward to growing more food-aware, civically-engaged and inclusive-minded young people this fall.