Central Manor samples bounty of school garden

Dandelions were on the menu at Central Manor Elementary School Thursday. So were watermelons, grape tomatoes, leaf lettuce and green peppers – all of it grown just steps away from the cafeteria in the school garden.

The fresh foods were arrayed on a “tasting table,” where students could sample the fruits (vegetables, actually) of their efforts in the school garden, where they planted, watered, grew and studied a variety of plants.

The garden was harvested this week with help from retired teachers and master gardeners, marking the end of the growing season. Thursday’s tasting table was the final set up in the process.

“The intent is to have students experience hands-on science and integrate healthy eating habits,” said Kim Garvey, a Central Manor sixth-grade teacher involved in the gardening program.

While there were many takers for tomatoes, lettuce and green peppers Thursday, the youngsters were a bit wary about trying the bright yellow dandelions.

Over the past year, Central Manor students planted a sunflower house, salsa garden and native American garden and grew a wide range of foods, including zucchini, beans and strawberries.

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