Huntington East Middle School, West Virginia’s only Silver Leed School, launched its “Farm to Table” Initiative in fall 2015 with the installation of a 25x40 foot high tunnel. With the help of the Fuel Up to Play 60 grant, we purchased the necessary soil, potting pods, raised garden boxes, and gravel to launch our venture in growing vegetables, from seed, to use on our school’s salad bar. This initiative has been an incredible success. With the bulk of the work happily and eagerly completed by students, we’ve stocked the salad bar with lettuce, several types of tomatoes, radishes, snow peas, and green onions. As the school year winds down for the summer, we are selling the crops that cannot be used on the salad bar, for donation rather than set prices, to fund our seed purchase next year. We are so excited to see how this program expands in future years.
How did students and adults work together as a team?
It’s truly been a joy to see the excitement on the kids’ faces as they see their toil pay off when they harvest crops. In fact, many of the kids who show the most enthusiasm and who have worked the hardest, are from the resource room and frequently show difficulty in managing their behavior. The opportunity to work in the high tunnel has been a source of therapy and reward for many of these kids when they display on-task behavior and classwork completion.