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Microsoft in your community

Unused land becomes a bountiful student-run garden in Taoyuan City

Families and students of the Jane-Der Primary School in Taoyuan City, Taiwan are now benefiting from fresh, local food produced by a community garden behind the school. Once an unused plot of land, the community garden yielded its first sizeable harvest in June 2023 from two rice paddies, a large vegetable garden, and fruit trees.

The Jane-Der Primary School partnered with Microsoft and Taiwan’s Society of Wilderness in January 2023 to rehabilitate the land behind the school to better benefit their community and the families of the primary school students. Food from the garden also directly helps students with school lunch assistance plans.

The Jane-Der PTA and teachers point to long-term benefits for students that care for the health of the garden. Students are learning about agriculture and growing their own food as well as using, protecting, and respecting the land they live on. Each child will learn with their hands as they plant, raise, and harvest food from the garden and the fruit trees for their own families.

The garden is a community effort and encourages participation from all teachers, students, parents, and partner volunteers to keep it healthy and productive. Volunteers are taught how to plant, water, weed, and fertilize the garden in preparation for and during the growing seasons.

The students and everyone involved are now looking forward to another harvest in the first half of 2024.