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First Lady Crissy Haslam Invites Teachers to Train at The Tennessee Residence Kitchen and Cutting Garden

Saturday, August 23, 2014 | 08:04am

Local Nashville teachers visit Tennessee’s executive residence to learn about growing a garden at their school

NASHVILLE – First Lady Crissy Haslam today hosted approximately 50 teachers from middle Tennessee at the Tennessee Residence to learn about setting up and maintaining a garden at their school. The free training was be led by the Tennessee Residence Master Gardeners and representatives from the UT Agriculture Extension office who covered topics including planning and designing a garden, grant writing, seed starting, tomato diseases and ideas to incorporate gardening into classroom curriculum.

“A garden can be a terrific tool for students to learn about healthy fruits and vegetables, science, problem-solving, sustainability and the environment,” Mrs. Haslam said. “Our Tennessee Residence Master Gardeners and the UT Agriculture Extension have been an asset for our garden and they are an excellent resource for teachers interested in beginning a garden.”

After the training, teachers enjoyed a fresh garden lunch prepared by Tennessee Residence Chef Stephen Ward and heard from guest speaker Jackie Contreras, Community Outreach Specialist for Community Food Advocates, to learn about growing food to promote the health. Each participant left with seed starter kits and information on how to maintain a successful garden.
The Kitchen and Cutting Garden has also been used to educate children. Earlier this year, Mrs. Haslam launched a new program inviting students to visit the Tennessee Residence to learn about the history of the home and tour the grounds, including the Kitchen and Cutting Garden. The field trip program also provides opportunities for children to participate in hands-on activities in the garden, such as planting, harvesting, composting and weeding.

“We hope to provide a variety of learning opportunities at the Tennessee Residence,” Mrs. Haslam said. “Students and teachers have visited our Kitchen and Cutting Garden to become more familiar with where their food comes from and how to incorporate fresh fruits and vegetables into your diet.”

For more information about the Tennessee Residence field trip program or the Kitchen and Cutting Garden, visit

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