Employee Nancy Sims said 48 second-graders from Jan Hamilton’s class have been participating in a gardening project since the store supplied a three-tiered garden and individual pots for students to grow assorted vegetables, including lettuce and beans. At the end of the school year, students will be able to take some of the items home with them.
“What they’re doing with the vertical garden is a salad garden, so they’ll be able to eat the lettuce growing there,” she said. “They’re also using the project as a science experiment to see how much the beans grow in a day.”
Sims said that, through the course of the project, students will gain the valuable experience of watching food they’ve grown go from the soil to their tables.
“They’ll learn where their produce comes from, so it gives them that scientific experience of watching the seeds sprout and actually grow,” she said. “It gives them the understanding that it doesn’t just come from the grocery store, there’s a process before it gets there.”
“The students were so excited to get their seeds planted,” Sims added.
Manager Lee Dials said she hopes this will end up being a fruitful learning experience for the students at Mary Hughes.
"The School Garden Program provides kids with an opportunity to use their hands and minds in a way that's not typically available in a traditional classroom setting," Dials said in a press release. "We're hopeful that this garden will not only give students at Mary Hughes Elementary a better understanding of where their food comes from, but will also encourage them to continue exploring how the world around them works."