OUR H2T FARM SCHOOL STORY
Lifestyle Journey from Head 2 Toe Change is a nonprofit 501c3 created to enhance the quality of health by “Health through Education” – Teaching children, with or without disabilities, how to maintain wellness through a clean, chemical-free lifestyle.
Our hands-on activities, planting, and cooking depict the “Harvest 2 Table” concept.
“Harvest 2 Table” is a farming project that provides a small organic farm with home-food gardening and goat education. What makes our small organic farm more inviting is the fact that it meets ADA regulations and guidelines. Under the ADA, you have a disability if you have a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits a major life activity.
ABOUT OUR CO-FOUNDERS
My name is Dana J. Sims, my husband is retired military of more than 26 years. I earned a bachelor’s degree in Elementary Education, master’s degree in Special Education (K-12) with focus in Learning Disabilities, Behavioral Disorders and Mild/Moderate Retardation. I earned a Plant Based Diet Certificate from Cornell University. I am currently a Certified Wholistic Rejuvenist since 2014 having completed my practicums through The Institute for Wholistic Rejuvenation under the tutorage of Dr. Gloria Gilbere’.
After surviving four types of Cancers, Pulmonary Embolism and Peripheral Neuropathy, I was determined to defy my diagnosis and eat to live. I realized and experienced why leafy greens and other veggies became my lifeline as well as my medicine. As a devout educator, I was committed to teaching students the benefits of vegetables, how to connect with their food and why Hippocrates says, “Food is Medicine”
In 2014, my co-founder Kim O’Neal and I launched Head 2 Toe Change LLC – a private healthcare membership association. Together, we created a plan to assist clients to become more aware of a cleaner and chemical-free diet.
In 2016, more inspiration for my long-term project came when I was a Special Education teacher. As a pilot project, I took my class of 15 self-contained students to McDowell Farm for a farm retreat experience. This farm is an incredible natural resource that serves as an outdoor classroom, rain or shine. That experience prompted me not to return to teaching in a public school but rather begin to build and implement my own farm 2 table vision on 3 of the six acres that we own.
In 2017, Kim O’Neal and I started Lifestyle Journey from Head 2 Toe (501c3), dedicated to enhancing the quality of life for participants in health through education, for youth adults, senior citizens, veterans, and individuals with disabilities. According to data from 2019-20, Alabama is ranked number 5 in the country for childhood obesity for ages 10-17. The obesity rate is 21.8%, which is significantly higher than several other states, with some of the other rates as low as 10%. Across the country, there are several efforts to give children the opportunity to learn to garden, especially in their schools. The two key components to weight gain are nutrition and physical activity. Gardening really covers the key components because it provides both nutrition and physical activity.
We developed Harvest 2 Table Organic Farm School to serve as a platform to mitigate the obesity, mental health epidemic in this country. We expect Harvest 2 Table Organic Farm School to be the cultivating link to “Health Through Education”. Students who attend the Harvest 2 Table Organic Farm School can make hands-on connections to the foods they eat by experiencing the growing, harvesting, cooking, and health benefits of eating real food. The big takeaway for children and their families is our motto, “You Are What You Eat”.
Your partners in health,
Dana J. Sims, CEO
Kim O’Neal, COO
Dana J. Sims