Garden, Nutrition & Wellness Program

Mission Statement

The Bella Garden Project (TBGP) and Bella Wellness generates a learning experience empowering a student’s effective global environmental awareness and education through the support of a full project based curriculum. Utilizing quality Montessori philosophies, we strive to foster forward thinking students prepared with 21st Century skills while enriching and nurturing the whole child.

The Bella Garden Project created a food forest with money raised through

Inspired by two brothers explaining how they go home to no food after school.


Harvest of the Month was initially created by several local school districts in California as part of a broader nutrition education effort targeted to low-income students.

Recognizing the value of this approach, the California Department of Public Health adopted Harvest of the Month in 2005, launching a statewide effort that is standardized, cost-effective, replicable, and available to all.

We at Bella Mente Academies want to allow families and community to understand the access tto good food and healthy food.


Eco Sustainability

  • How can you be more sustainable and help reduce your carbon footprint.?

How to Reduce Carbon Footprint


Zucchini Muffins
- One zucchini is a “zucchina.”
- Zucchinis were first brought to the United States in the 1920s by the Italians.
- April 25th is National Zucchini Bread Day.
- The flower of the zucchini plant is edible. Fried squash blossoms are considered a delicacy.
- Nutrients and vitamins found in zucchini can help prevent cancer and heart disease.
- A zucchini has more potassium than a banana.
- The word zucchini comes from ‘zucca’ the Italian word for squash.
- Biggest is NOT best. The most flavorful zucchinis are small- to medium-sized and the darker the skin, the richer the nutrients.
Get The Recipe
Black Bean & Corn Stuffed Jalapenos
Why go to a party this weekend with junk food when you could go to a party this coming weekend with great food and still be the hit with easy and tasty food? Jalapenos are simply amazing and diverse. They are great for your overall health and help reduce inflammation. Take a look at this simple recipe which for sure will be a hit at your party or your neighbors. Bon Appetit!!
Get The Recipe

The Sage Garden Project is a program that brings gardens, cooking classes, and nutritional science – as well as opportunities for physical activity and exercise – to targeted elementary schools. The goal of the program is to reduce the incidence of diabetes. Because the disease is developing at an epidemic rate in the Hispanic/Latino population, schools with a large percentage of these students are targeted for participation. Throughout the year Sage Garden lessons are used in both the garden and in the nutrition lab. In the summer months Sage Garden pairs up with our garden program to offer exciting summer nutrition camps.

It all started in 1979 with a team of inspired teachers, some open land outside a classroom, and a vision. Since the first Life Lab school garden was created at Green Acres Elementary School in Santa Cruz, CA, Life Lab has continuously engaged young people in gardens and taught others to do the same. Lessons from Life Lab are used in the garden such as learning about food webs or soil.

At the Edible Schoolyard Project, we have worked for more than 20 years to cultivate and embody our mission- and ensure an edible education for every public school student in the United States. Research shows that when schools prioritize health and social well-being in tandem with academic goals, and extend their mission to involve families and surrounding communities, students thrive.

Each summer the Edible Schoolyard offers training for educators in Berkeley, CA which allows to better understand how to connect an edible education with state standards. I have had the good fortunes to attend both the ESY Summer training as well as the Farm to School Intensive. Also, each year Alice Waters participates Edible Education 101 at UC Berkeley which is available as an online platform for anyone to view.

The National Farm to School Network is an information, advocacy and networking hub for communities working to bring local food sourcing, school gardens, food and agriculture education into schools and early care and education settings.

Slow Food USA is part of the global Slow Food movement creating dramatic change in more than 160 countries. In the US, there are more than 150 local chapters and 6,000 members. Join us to connect the pleasures of the table with a commitment to the communities, cultures, knowledge, and environment that make this pleasure possible. Slow Food USA gathers likely and unlikely allies to transform the way we produce, consume, and enjoy food.

The aim of U.S. Department of Education Green Ribbon Schools (ED-GRS) is to inspire schools, districts and Institutions of Higher Education (IHEs) to strive for 21st century excellence by highlighting promising practices and resources that all can employ. To that end, the award recognizes schools, districts, and IHEs that:

  1. Reduce environmental impact and costs;
  2. Improve the health and wellness of schools, students, and staff; and
  3. Provide effective environmental and sustainability education.

The Green Schools Initiative was founded in 2004 by parent-environmentalists who were shocked by how un-environmental their kids’ schools were and mobilized to improve the environmental health and ecological sustainability of schools in the U.S. We believe it is essential to protect children’s health – at school and in the world beyond school – and we work to catalyze and support “green” actions by kids, teachers, parents,
and policymakers to reduce the environmental footprint of schools by:

  • Eliminating toxins
  • Using resources sustainably
  • Creating green schoolyards and buildings
  • Serving healthy food and
  • Teaching environmental literacy and stewardship.

We are all concerned about the environment. Among other things, the green school is a trendy topic. However, it is not clear for parents and students how to assess the “green school” concept. This site helps with topics surrounding healthy foods, energy savings, lowering emissions and more.

Our school is a Certified Wildlife Habitat. The National Wildlife Federation works to protect wildlife and nature. The plan sets in motion a Common Agenda for Wildlife built upon sound science, clear priorities, and scalable solutions. Our Common Agenda includes a commitment to: Protect, Restore, and Connect Wildlife Habitat, Transform Wildlife Conservation, Connect Americans with Wildlife.