The community garden where people from all over North Texas can learn how to sustainably grow their own fruits and vegetables opened October 2015 and is located directly east of The Shed.
The American Heart Association (AHA), in collaboration with numerous Dallas community partners, broke ground Saturday, Oct. 3, at 10:30 a.m. on its first AHA Teaching Garden to be located at a farmers market. Mama Ida’s Teaching Garden at the Dallas Farmers Market offers custom-designed educational programs for people of all ages.
The space is named for “Mama” Ida Papert, an avid supporter of the Dallas Farmers Market and founder of the Dallas Farmers Market Friends, a volunteer organization focused on enhancing shoppers’ experiences. The garden serves to educate the community on the benefits of fresh fruits and vegetables and each harvest helps feed Dallas’ homeless through produce donations to Family Gateway.
A Teaching Garden is a nutrition intervention program that can promote increased fruit and vegetable intake among students. The physical garden, along with the first-of-its-kind AHA curriculum specially designed for a farmers market, teaches garden-themed lessons, nutrition, math and science, enabling all who enjoy the garden to make healthy choices.
“Farmer Kim” Aman, recognized as a 2013 Eco-educator by WFAA-TV and a Dallas Farmers Market Friends board member, worked with the AHA to develop the farmers market curriculum. As the Dallas Farmers Market Field Trip Instructor, she leads the garden programs at the farmers market, a popular destination for many local school field trips. AgriLife Wellness holds a monthly booth to demo healthy eating to the customers. This will feature seasonal produce and hands-on demonstrations. Free to all customers.
The garden was funded by the Entertainment Industry Foundation, a leading charitable organization of the entertainment industry that harnesses the collective power of the entire industry to raise awareness and funds for critical health, educational and social issues. Downtown Dallas Inc. provided dozens of tools for the build, including shovels, rakes, buckets, trowels, wheelbarrows and more.
The garden helps to fulfill our mission to ensure the Dallas Farmers Market is a community space rich with activity for our all our neighbors to experience and appreciate fresh, local foods.