For the next two months, our SYG blog will spotlight a few of the wonderful schoolyard garden sites we have the pleasure of assisting. Each week, we’ll zoom in on a different school, sharing and celebrating their garden stories. We hope you’ll be as inspired as we are by these rock star gardeners!
I’ll kick the series off with EarlystART Metro Child & Family Development Center, located in Kansas City, MO. This site serves about 60 preschool students and they’ve been a member of the Schoolyard Gardens program for a little over 3 years. The Art Coordinator, Laura Fisher, does an amazing job of utilizing the garden for many aspects of her programing, from curriculum integration to supplementing meal times with freshly harvested veggies.
Laura and the rest of the educators at EarlystART also understand that gardening provides wonderful opportunities to talk to kids about nutrition and the importance of eating veggies as a way to promote wellness. Even the pickiest of eaters seem to magically become adventurous when it comes to eating right out of the garden. The combination of planting their own seeds or transplants, nurturing it as it grows and then eventually harvesting, allows students to become invested in the food they’re eating.
The students delight in harvesting greens such as lettuce, spinach and kale and other yummy additions such as green onions and radishes. At the end of the spring season, they get a huge harvest together and get to personally deliver their bounty to the center’s chef who makes up a delicious garden salad to serve to the entire school!
Besides using the produce they harvest for yummy recipes, Laura thinks outside the box as the Art Coordinator and is always coming up with creative and fun ways to use the garden in her lessons, such as making prints of veggie leaves!
Thank you Laura and the rest of EarlystART Metro for working hard to provide such meaningful and engaging gardening experiences for your students!