Our mission for inspiring healthy living through garden-based education starts in our area schools and expands to our thriving local food community. Through our Plant to Plate Program, Apple Seeds partners with schools and community organizations to establish activities that serve students and their families, such as gardening clubs, school garden education, farm field trips, student-run farmers markets, and healthy snack classes. These hands-on, educational programs empower students with skills to grow their own food, inspiring them to make healthy food choices that positively impact their lives. Apple Seeds began in 2005 as a program initiated by Ozark Natural Foods. In just two short years, the program, which began as Apples in the Classroom, quickly reached more than 1,500 students. Clearly meeting a need among our young students, Alysen Land, General Manager of Ozark Natural Foods and one of Apple Seeds' founding members, incorporated Apple Seeds in 2007 so that it could better serve its community. Apple Seeds now leads the movement of school garden education within Washington County through its highly successful school garden programs. In addition, Apple Seeds manages the educational component of the Fayetteville Public Schools Farm to School program that reaches nearly 6,000 students annually. These programs have increased consumption of fruits and vegetables, improved attitudes towards healthy food, and heightened students’ knowledge of nutrition and gardening for its students. (Apple Seeds survey 2012). Apple Seeds envisions a world where every individual has access to, consumes and enjoys local, healthy food. Communities band together in support of local farmers and fresh produce. Farmers’ markets are strategically located to optimize access. School gardens are established and maintained at every school. Home gardens are planted in every backyard. Northwest Arkansas community members are no longer contributing to the national obesity epidemic; instead, these individuals live healthy, full and balanced lives.