The Barstow School has worked with Kansas City Community Gardens for over 8 years. They started with a bang by building 24 raised beds right off the bat! Mrs. Sarah Holmes’s science students have helped plant and maintain the vegetable garden over the years.
Earlier this year, I sat down with Mrs. Holmes and Barstow’s chef, Sophia, to come up with a plan so that the garden contributes as much produce to the cafeteria as possible. This spring, students enjoyed salad, herbs and greens from the garden in their cafeteria meals.
The school year came to an end on May 17, but Mrs. Holmes and students enrolled in Barstow’s summer school program have kept the garden going this month. Mrs. Holmes held a week-long Farmers Market class to teach the students about how to organize and prepare for a market! The students first visited the Overland Park Farmers’ Market to observe how the farmers display and sell their products, and supported the farmers by buying their produce!
From those lessons, the students came back and organized their own Farmers’ Market, where they sold extra produce from the schoolyard garden to Barstow parents, staff and students. The students sold greens, potatoes, and even prepared mint tea for their customers. In total, the students raised $100.80! The class decided to donate the proceeds of the market to Kansas City Community Gardens, to help fund other schoolyard gardens.
With their generous donation, the Schoolyard Gardens program can help fund a compost top off at an established schoolyard garden, help supplement the cost of a new schoolyard garden construction, or can help us purchase new tools for students to use in the garden! We’re grateful for the donation, and happy that the students were able to learn something about the importance of growing vegetables along the way!