PHOENIX - Bashas' stores and Dole Packaged Foods LLC has kicked off a contest that will grant two Arizona elementary schools a learning garden.

Captain Planet Foundation Learning Garden programs provide a platform for students to engage and expand their knowledge about nutrition, science and math. Students will benefit by learning about the origins of some foods, taste-test healthy foods and gain a better understanding about the environment

Two lucky schools will be the recipient of a comprehensive learning garden complete with lesson kits, and supplies. This schoolyard garden comes with a fully equipped garden cooking cart, and strategies for garden maintenance. The kit is valued at $2,500.

“Here at Dole, we understand the importance of teaching children the benefits of incorporating fruits and vegetables into their diet, whether they are enjoying fresh produce from a learning garden, or a healthy Dole snack,” said Larry White, Dole's vice president of sales.

“Anything can be taught in the context of the garden, and hands-on learning supports student understanding of natural systems, food origins, and healthy eating,” explained Leesa Carter, the executive director of the Captain Planet Foundation. “Captain Planet Foundation is dedicated to nurturing the next generation of environmental stewards, and ensuring they are armed with an understanding of the natural world in which they live.”

Captain Planet Foundation was created in 1989 and conceived by Ted Turner and Barbara Pyle.

Project Learning Gardens Program includes:

· Installation of five raised beds for veggies and an in-ground pollinator garden
· Six lessons per grade level (K-5) aligned to common core standards and the framework for K-12 science education
· Lesson kits filled with all supplies needed to teach lessons (three per grade level)
· Fully equipped mobile cooking cart to demonstrate garden-fresh recipes
· Summer garden management program model
· Professional development workshop for up to six teachers per school

The contest begins Aug. 2 and ends Sept. 2. You can apply for this special grant to win here.