Real Food Lab Pilot Launch

Big Green is proud to announce the launch of Real Food Lab, a new high school program, designed in partnership with the Network for Teaching Entrepreneurship (NFTE), that gives students a unique opportunity to build real world skills and explore entrepreneurship through the lens of real food.
We are getting ready to pilot Real Food Lab in Memphis, where teacher training is set to begin next month to prepare participating schools to implement the curriculum in the coming spring semester.   We are also please to share that we will be launching an online portal to accompany this training, giving Real Food Lab teachers direct and easy access to the materials they’ll need to be successful.

During the school year, participating high school teachers will have the opportunity to use the Real Food Lab curriculum and capstone project in their classroom.  The 15-lesson curriculum focuses on entrepreneurial skills and food systems, as well as opportunities for business development within the real food sector.  Students will use the concepts taught through lessons to design their own real food business using inspiration from the Learning Garden and real food business case studies.  The culmination of the classroom portion is a 3-lesson capstone project in which students develop a Learning Garden real food business plan for their school’s summer practicum.

During the summer, participating high schools will have the opportunity to implement a 6-week summer practicum which focuses on developing real-world entrepreneurship skills through the growing, harvesting, and selling of Learning Garden produce.  Big Green recognizes the great value of student’s and teacher’s time during the summer.  To that end, we compensate teachers for their time spent facilitating the summer practicum and offer students a stipend upon completion of the program.

During the summer, all participating schools will be able to accept SNAP benefits. When regionally available, schools will also have access to Double Up Food Bucks – a program that matches SNAP benefits spent on fresh, Learning Garden produce. Combined, this allows Real Food Lab students to increase real food access in the local community in an exciting and innovative way!

Keep an eye out for upcoming news on this new program!