Berry Good Farms is a fine example of how locally grown food improves the lives of not only the consumers but also the lives of the growers–in this case, the students and recent graduates of the North Florida School of Special Education. Under the knowledgeable supervision of Tim Armstrong from Eat Your Yard Jax , Ellen Hiser, Director of BGF- Transition Program, and Matt Wiley, BGF Post Graduate Program the students grow fresh, seasonal produce for a weekly bag program, as well as micro greens for local restaurants right on the grounds of the school.
This food is grown without the use of chemical fertilizers or pesticides. They use interplanting, crop rotation, and other intensive gardening methods. Aqua Culture is employed to raise fish for the schools Fish Fry fund raiser and the water from the tanks is used to enrich the plantings. The garden includes many heirloom varieties and North Florida natives suitable to this environment. With the cooperative effort of students, parents, volunteers, interns and facility from the school, this garden is thriving.
Through the vision and valuable expertise of Tim Armstrong, this program is in the completion of its second year and growing strong. Tim has completed 5 months of training with Will Allen, the notable gardener who has transformed urban agriculture in the US. The entire program is designed to be self-sustaining and supportive for those participating.
You can also see the produce from this garden in the schools culinary program and on the plates of students and staff at the school. Native Sun, King Green Market, and Toss Green on Southside also use their garden produce. Look for new value added products from this farm such as herbal soaps, dried herbs, seasoned vinegars, and pickled produce. There are vegetable starts for sale from their 30’x60’ on site greenhouse. Stop by for a visit and see the good works growing at Berry Good Farms. This edible campus is a model for future edible campus gardens. Connect to the link below to see more.
Address: 223 Mill Creek Road
Jacksonville, FL 32211
Contacts: North Florida School for Special Education 904-724-8323
Tim Armstrong: 904-343-9575
Below, you’ll find photos from the Berry Goods Farm Snail of Approval Ceremony on December 18, 2013.