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Our Farm is Our School Garden

Terri Pitts,   Colonial Hills Elementary School
Access to Healthy Foods
Our Farm is Our School Garden
Colonial Hills Elementary School is celebrating another successful year of growth in the school garden. This year, students enjoyed planting, growing and harvesting fresh mint. The mint was then given to the cafeteria staff who used it along with some strawberries to make Strawberry Mint Infused Water for everyone to sample. “Sampling in the cafeteria is a great way to share the school garden harvest with the whole school,” said Terri Pitts, Colonial Hills P.E. teacher. “It creates opportunities for learning what produce is in season and even how to prepare and eat it by having a few recipes on hand.” This is the third time Colonial Hills students grew and harvested produce from its school garden for the cafeteria. The first harvest produced coleslaw made from carrots and cabbage, while the zucchinis and squash from the second harvest were served with ranch dressing. “We encourage sampling the garden produce in the cafeteria so that the school garden becomes an even more visible and integral part of daily school life and gives students the chance to crunch, sniff and nibble on something new, fresh and delicious straight from the garden,” said Pitts.

How do you plan to make this Play last during the school year and beyond?

We just completed our third harvest from school garden to cafeteria and we are in the process of harvesting lettuce for salads in the cafeteria. Our garden is big and harvests quite a bit. We plan on serving a variety of fruits and vegetables in the future. We also advertise the garden crop to the cafeteria on the morning announcements and mention the benefits of the produce.

What challenges did you face and how did you overcome them?

The garden sometimes gets bugs and diseases. We are not allowed to use chemicals. We do research and find homemade products that work. Dawn soap and cayenne pepper ares good products.

What improvements have you seen at your school?

We see a slight increase in produce consumption on our campus. Students are willing to sample produce they have never sampled before. They grew the produce so they want to sample.