Food And Drinks

Sprouts Farmers Market: Bridging Orlando’s healthy food gap by bike

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Growing your own food is a rewarding experience that is even more special when shared with others. Whether you’re filling an entire greenhouse or growing herbs in a mason jar, there are seemingly endless ways to try your hand at the garden. But there is one familiar green space that so often goes unused – a lawn! Did you know there are more than 40 million acres of lawn in the United States?

Given this underutilization, the not-for-profit IDEAS for Us in Orlando launched its Fleet Farming program to convert lawns into micro-farmlettes and build a sustainable local food system in neighborhoods. This ‘farmlette’ is filled with leafy vegetables in high season. Twice a month, Fleet Farming hosts ‘Swarm Rides’ where volunteers gather on bikes and ride around town looking after the farmlettes. These events bring people of all ages together and help provide edible landscapes to community centers, schools and affordable housing, as well as others who effectively lease their land. About 10 percent of the produce grown is held by the people who live or work on the property. The rest is sold through the CSA of Fleet Farming or their farm or donated to the community. From spring 2021, Fleet Farming will have:

  • 114,500 square meters of lawn transformed into edible urban landscapes

  • 7,710 pounds of fresh, healthy food harvested

  • Educated 5,280 volunteers

  • Fed 5,140 local community members

  • Created 17 school gardens

In celebration of the opening of the new Sprouts distribution center in Orlando, the Sprouts Healthy Communities Foundation is donating $ 26,000 to the Fleet Farming program. The funds will be used to buy a pickup truck that will make it easier to carry large supplies, build a communal kitchen at Fleet Farming’s headquarters in Audubon Park, and convert Fleet Farming’s weekly CSA into a zero-waste model. There is so much to learn out in the garden! Volunteers visit the Farmlettes during a “crush trip”. Customers can expect a large selection of products at the Fleet Farming product stand.

Disclaimer of liability

Sprouts Farmers Markets Inc. posted this content on May 24, 2021 and is solely responsible for the information contained therein. Distributed by the public, unedited and unchanged, on May 26, 2021 5:16:06 PM UTC.

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Janet Smith