Written by Ryan Laswell, Nourish Program Coordinator Nourish staff had the opportunity to collaborate with Jefferson Elementary School's principal and staff, who made time in their busy lives this semester, to start a school garden. The funds came in the form of a grant from the Wisconsin Medical Society Foundation and the tools from Fiskars Corporation. The boxes were built and filled with healthy compost this summer and during the first part of the school semester Nourish staff joined three teachers and their classes in planting the six raised beds.
Meetings and planning have begun and brainstorming is underway as to how the beds will be cared for and how they can have the greatest impact on the students they serve. The spinach, radishes, kale, and winter lettuce mix provided a fun get-away on the playground for students and parents to keep an eye on.
When students get to breathe fresh air, feel the sunshine, and get hands on in the garden their brains are learning and it doesn’t even seem like work. Providing a hands on educational experience outside is a powerful tool. The garden can be a place to learn about science, math, reading, writing, art, problem solving, and nutrition education. Food has a powerful way of bringing together kids of all ages and adults of different backgrounds. Sharing common goals and sharing food is more than part of the “Good Food” movement, it’s a way of building community.