Schools set up vegetable gardens for cafeteria fare

NEW BEDFORD, Mass.—Students at Brooks School in New Bedford, Massachusetts, will have fresh vegetables in their school cafeteria next year and they’ll come straight from their own school garden.

“Every single grade level has a bed in the garden,” said Principal Kevin Sullivan, who helped plant bushes in the garden.

There are also three community beds at the school, he said.

Students are helping to grow cucumbers, peas, beans, strawberries, lettuce, squash and butterfly bushes.

The Brooks School and the Hannigan School held ribbon-cutting ceremonies for their gardens earlier this month after an almost yearlong partnership with the Marion Institute.

Brooks also has a gardening club, Sullivan said.

“We have almost 30 children in that Gardening Club, cleaning it up, watering and weeding,” he said. “They’re really getting into the hands-on science of watching things grow.”

The gardening project translates across the curriculum. Sullivan said students are drawing pictures of the plants, writing about what they are doing and they are graphing their work using science and math skills.

At the Hannigan ribbon-cutting ceremony, Zoe Hansen-DiBello, the Marion Institute’s Grow Education and youth coordinator who spearheaded the garden efforts, said families there would be taking home the garden vegetables.

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