A school garden as fun as the playground
A child holds a small magnifying glass to a potato plant, examining the underside of the leaves with eyes full of curiosity. She and her peers are guided along by a Master Gardener in their Woodland School Garden, learning about good bugs and bad bugs. This is just one of many lessons they learn in the school garden.
"They are amazed to find potatoes, radishes and carrots growing underground," said Master Gardener Diane Henry.
From May to September, Master Gardeners meet with elementary students and pre-K to pre-fifth grade child care groups five days a week. Kids are active and they learn the week’s lesson by doing: amending the soil with compost, watering the vegetables, keeping pests away. Children record their progress and thoughts in their journals.
The 214 students involved are rewarded throughout the season by seeing the plants grow, watching pollinators visit their flowers, pulling their first of many carrots from the ground and tasting that delicious tomato. They proudly deliver their produce to the school cafeteria, where it is served to students throughout the summer months.
"I could eat all the pea pods," said Matthew, a student. Seeing how food is grown is one step in establishing healthy eating habits.