Friday, June 10, 2011

A Veggy Revolution

    The First Lady has generated a lot of buzz about school vegetable gardens and made it very fashionable. Right on for her! So along with the children and nature movement, school systems across the country are starting their own revolution to teach children where food comes from and what a better teachable moment than growing a vegetable garden. 
   For a very long time, Montgomery County Public Schools (MCPS) did not allow teachers, students or parents to plant vegetable gardens on school grounds. For over a year, a ground swelling of activism occurred to change the school system's stance. With the work from Master Gardeners, Montgomery Victory Gardens, and Audubon Naturalist Society's GreenKids program, the school system softened this spring and started a pilot project to allow schools to grow vegetables in containers.
   GreenKids helped seven MCPS elementary schools plant salad greens in an Earthbox or a salad table. The GreenKids Environmental Educators and school teachers integrated lessons on local food sustainability, plant parts and vegetables, what a garden looks like, and observing and taking data about the growing process. Students planted, harvested, and ate their greens at a salad party where they were able to invite other vegetables to their salad bowl. The project was a huge success due to the excitement, smiles, and willingness to try something new, particularly since they had grown it with their own two hands.
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