Orlando Junior Academy is a diverse community that includes students, staff, friends and extended family that have come together to care for and learn from each other. Each member of this community brings something unique to the table, sometimes metaphorically, sometimes literally. The food garden is a wonderful and appropriate place to celebrate this diversity and see food from a truly global perspective.
Tuesday in the garden the sixth grade class learned about and planted two food plants with strong cultural traditions. Their lessons were presented by two gentlemen from very different places.
One guest teacher was OJA dad, Emerson Mility. Mr. Mility comes from the Dominican Republic and has long felt that no garden (including the one at OJA) is complete without sugarcane. Mr. Mility shared his knowlege about sugarcane and its uses and also advised the students on how to grow a vigorous crop. He says we should be able to celebrate Christmas with cane juice!
Our other guest teacher was College Park businessman Giovanni Vianello owner of “Let Us Frame It” on Edgewater drive. Mr. Vianello brought with him stories of his father growing food in the “old country”. Mr Vianello comes from Venice, Italy where his family has grown grapes for many generations. The grape plants shown here are actually grown from cuttings taken from the vines at the Vianello homestead and will hopefully provide many generations of OJA students with a taste of Venice.
Thanks, Gentlemen for giving of your time and sharing your knowledge with us. You are helping to make our garden and our education truly “world class”.