HMC Architects and Sacramento City Unified School District hosted a tour of the new Floyd Farms Food Literacy Center at Leataata Floyd Elementary School for the Association for Learning Environments’ (A4LE) Northern California / Nevada Chapter on May 18.

Attendees learned about The Food Literacy Center’s mission and explored the community kitchen, cooking classrooms, farm, and outdoor classroom. They also learned more about how the City of Sacramento and the district collaborated to create a sustainable community garden to serve students and the surrounding community. The tour included a light lunch which included some of the students’ favorite recipes.

A dream of the Food Literacy Program and Sacramento City USD for over a decade, Floyd Farms at Leataata Floyd Elementary School is home to the program’s headquarters, a cooking classroom, and a farm where students and community members can actively practice the “Farm to Fork” philosophy. As an organization built around the tenets of health, wellness, and the environment, it was paramount that the headquarters reflected these same values while adhering to the non-profit’s tight budget. Fruits and veggies will be grown on-site and washed and prepared in the shade of the outdoor learning classroom. Meals are later prepared in the Net Zero Energy kitchen for healthy bodies and a healthy environment. The learning kitchen is anchored by a large demonstration counter and is surrounded by domestic cooking stations for kids to gain hands-on kitchen experience.

The building itself also functions as a learning tool where users actively observe on-site energy-conscious features in action. Solar panels, rainwater collection, operable windows, and ceiling fans, and a holistic heating and cooling system are employed to reduce energy waste. As Sacramento City USD’s first project to pursue ZNE, the building will produce as much energy as it uses, is free from all fossil fuels, and allows the nonprofit to keep its operating costs low.