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Lewisboro Elementary Marks Harvest with Soup Day

LEWISBORO, N.Y. – Lewisboro Elementary School teachers and parents are discovering a good way to get kids to eat their vegetables is by letting them grow them themselves.

Last week, students, teachers and parent volunteers harvested, prepped and cooked vegetables from the school’s organic garden. Parents and fifth graders then served the entire school harvest soup for the first "soup day" from the garden.

The garden was installed earlier this year in the school's inner courtyard. It consists of nine raised beds with drip irrigation. A first harvest of spring vegetables took place in June and students munched the produce during the school's first "salad day."  Volunteer families rotated throughout the summer to keep an eye on the garden's progress. Now students will now plant garlic, kale, carrots and potatoes for third harvest later this fall.

The planting schedule was devised by second-grade teacher Denise Lupia. Michelle Colman heads the PTA committee on gardening, trails, and sustainability for the school.

"The garden is a terrific way for the kids to have a hands-on learning experience about where their food comes from," Colman said. "And they love tasting the results. One student had five helpings of soup."

Colman said the garden has even helped students to discover how good kale can be – a vegetable to which they likely turn up their noses.

“We made kale chips and I’ve never seen kids devour kale like that,” she said. “You put a little olive oil on the kale with some parmesan cheese and broil it. It comes out crispy and delicious. My kids make me make it because they like it so much.”

Colman said when the kids get to work hands-on with growing the vegetables they are more amenable to eating them.

“Thanks to the garden they are so much more willing to try things,” she said.

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