SOUTH SALEM, N.Y. – Students culled a bounty of vegetables from the sustainable garden at Lewisboro Elementary School (LES) last week in celebration of Harvest Day.
The harvest, celebrated for its third year at LES, was the immediate predecessor to Soup Day, where they use the vegetables to make soup for lunch. The school district rotates the many soup pots between schools throughout the year. Meadow Pond and Increase Miller Elementary Schools recently utilized the pots for their own harvests and soup days.
The Lewisboro Elementary event was spearheaded by second-grade teacher Denise Lupia, with assistance from the PTA, administrators, teachers and more than a dozen parent volunteers.
Corn, beans, butternut squash, swiss chard, carrots, tomatoes, potatoes, onions, basil, cucumbers, and other vegetables were abundant, ripe and ready to be harvested by children in grades K-5.
Each class was assigned a specific responsibility. Some peeled carrots, others chopped mushrooms and others husked corn for Soup Day. Older students used trowels to dig for onions.
Lupia said the planting was based on the Native American concept of the “three sisters,” employing the symbiotic relationship between many of the vegetables that are believed to thrive and grow better together.
Last spring, in preparation for this day, students planted their seeds. The automatic irrigation system helped to maintain the sprouting garden. In late spring, lettuce was harvested for LES Salad Day. During the summer, parent volunteers harvested seasonal vegetables. Surplus crops were brought to the community center.
The harvest produced 500 bowls of soup as well as pesto sauce with raw vegetables for the whole school community to enjoy.