How their garden grows
WASHINGTON, Iowa (GTNS) – Students at Lincoln Elementary School in Washington have already seen benefits from the student-led garden, which was planted last spring.
At lunch on Friday several Lincoln Elementary students were picking out tomatoes from the salad bar. Above the tomatoes sign read “Tomatoes from the garden.” Fifth-grader Noah Noriega was one of the students who has eaten vegetables from the garden this week. He said he was excited to try the vegetables the garden has produced. He said he also enjoyed learning about the garden.
“It’s really cool because you get to grow stuff,” he said. “I liked how I got to see it and plant it. It’s just like recycling.”
Another fifth-grader, Ethan Chance, said he was excited to hear his school would have a garden.
“I like doing the planting and growing it,” Chance said.
Gardening wasn’t a new concept for Chance. His family has planted a garden at their home for eight years.
“We have a 10-by-6 [foot] garden,” Chance said. “We’ve planted tomatoes, peppers, cabbage, carrots, and another vegetable I don’t know the name of.”
Lincoln Elementary principal Dave Hoffman said the first thing the students see when they walk in to lunch is the different vegetables the garden has provided.
“Yesterday for the first time we had tomatoes and cucumbers on our salad bar that were out of the garden,” Hoffman said. “We’re hoping as we continue here to add more vegetables to the salad bar.”
Hoffman said students were out harvesting the garden this past Wednesday. He said teachers are planning to have the students back in the garden next week.
The student-led garden was possible because of a grant the Washington County Public Health Department received, Hoffman said. The school worked it into its curriculum last spring. Third-graders were getting the soil ready for planting, the fourth-graders did the weeding, and the fifth-graders will do the harvesting this fall, Hoffman said.
Hoffman has ideas about what he would like to see happen with the garden this upcoming year. He would like to see it increase in size with different vegetables.