Class gives Millbridge Elementary students a taste of gardening
By Jessica Resor
SALISBURY — Before school gets out for the summer, students at Millbridge Elementary School enjoyed their last lesson of the year in the garden.
Judy Peacock’s pre-kindergarten class and Whitney Lannon’s second-grade class went outside to harvest what they had grown this season. In all, the students got to harvest two kinds of lettuce, carrots, radishes and peas. Also planted in the garden were strawberries and potatoes.
The students weeded the garden’s raised beds and composted the leftover plant material. They were able to look at the butterfly garden and milkweed meant to attract pollinators. The students also got to plant a sunflower seed that will sprout and flower later in the summer. After all of the hard work in the soil, the students went inside to taste their produce.
Danelle Cutting, local foods agent with Rowan County Cooperative Extension, led this hands-on lesson in the garden. Jessica Resor, a summer intern for Cooperative Extension, helped Cutting. In total, 35 students took part in the last garden class.
The goal of this educational series is to educate and to expose the students to gardening and fruits and vegetables that they may not have tried before. Many of the students had never eaten peas in a pod. It was a new, exciting experience for them. Summer is a good time for the students to take what they learned home to their parents and perhaps begin growing fruits, vegetables, or flowers of their own.
The second-graders took iPads to their classroom to write in garden journals about the day’s events, an activity they have been doing all season. The students would log their favorite part of the lesson and what they learned.
“My favorite thing of the year was going to the garden and picking plants and taking pictures of plants, trying food, learning about bugs, and trying honey,” said Lucas Watts, a student in Lannon’s class. “I liked planting flowers and carrots and all of that stuff.”
Brynna Raney, also in Lannon’s class, said his favorite part was that “we ate part of a radish. Lettuce was great and awesome. We just had a great time with Mrs. Cutting and Jessica.“
Resor is an intern with Rowan County Cooperative Extension.