Comanche Elementary in the Shawnee Mission School District has been a Schoolyard Gardens member for over 7 years. This year, the second grade team has taken over the gardening duties. The students were first introduced to the garden last fall when they cleaned out the garden which had grown full of pesky summer weeds.
The excitement from the fall project kept the students eager all winter long to get back to their garden. Comanche took advantage of the early spring and were one of the first Schoolyard Gardens to plant their garden this spring! The students planted a salad garden: lettuce, green onions, radishes, carrots, spinach, arugula and mustard green seeds the first week of March. The garden has benefited from the spring rains and the warm, sunny days.
In mid-April Schoolyard Gardens staff worked with students to practice thinning the garden, an important step to ensuring vegetable roots have space to grow, and worked on pulling out the weeds growing in between their vegetable rows. The students each tasted arugula and mustard greens they thinned and each student was able to take a bite of a tiny radish! While some students were skeptical of the taste, they all tried each of the three vegetables. By tasting each, they could compare the tastes of the different veggies.
The students plan to celebrate their spring garden successes by having a harvest party before the end of the school year. With continued watering and care they should be in shape to have a great party! There was one request, to add some croutons to the salad, because as the student stated, “No salad is good without some crunch!”