In my opinion, the best part of gardening, of course, is the food! In case you need convincing, you should know that the produce grown in a garden:
- Tastes better: The food that you buy in a grocery store must be picked weeks early so that there is time for it to be transported before it ripens on the shelf. Produce from the garden is much fresher because it can be picked at peak ripeness.
- Is cheaper: Often times, schools have a contract with a supplier for school lunches. With rising costs of produce, as well as the cost of transportation, growing some of your own produce could save your school a lot of money.
- Is healthier: When you eat from your own garden, you know exactly where your food is coming from. There are no questions about pesticides because you grew it yourself!
- Is better for the environment: When you grow your own food, it can be picked and eaten within the same day; there is no need for transportation or packaging. This greatly reduces the amount of CO2 in the environment, which in the long run is better for us and the planet!
I carefully selected recipes that correlate with the recommendations I made for your school garden. Elementary aged students are often hesitant to eat new foods, but you should encourage them to try just one bite. Often, there is some positive peer pressure when it comes to trying new foods in the classroom. If a child sees a classmate enjoying the food, he or she is more likely to try it 🙂 In this section, you can find recipes to make with your students from the produce you grow together, as well as a lesson plan about how to make your own solar oven! If the recipe calls for an item that is not in your garden, try your best to get this item from a local farmers market. These recipes can be made in the classroom, or you can pass them along to the cafeteria to encourage them to cook from the garden!