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Lewisboro Daily Voice serves Lewisboro, NY

Lewisboro Students Grow Their Own Vegetables

Who says kids don’t like vegetables?

The students at Lewisboro Elementary School are learning to plant, grow and harvest their own vegetables, thanks to the school’s first sustainable garden that they’ve created in the building’s courtyard.

“Every student came in and partnered up – one would dig and the other would plant the seeds,” said second grade teacher Denise Lupia, who headed up the project. “They really got into it.”

The garden will last practically year round and will be planted in three phases. The first phase, mostly a variety of different types of lettuce and some peas, was planted in April and the first harvest was taken on Wednesday.

“We went into the cafeteria and the kids and parents chopped, washed and dried the vegetables and made salad,” said Rachael Clott, a member of the PTA’s sustainable and wellness committee. The PTA sponsored the garden. “We had three different types of dressing and [salad] was served to the whole school.”

There was enough lettuce to create 500 servings of salad with still plenty left in the garden.

“We decided to sell the rest of the lettuce to the parents for a dollar a head,” Lupia said. “We made $100 yesterday.”

The garden is in raised beds and has an automated irrigation system, which was built by the Katonah-Lewisboro District Operations and Management Department.

The next phase of the garden begins this summer and 10 volunteer families will come in once a week to maintain it when school is out of session.

“For the second phase, we’ll plant pole beans, tomatoes, corn and squash and harvest it in September,” Lupia said. “When you plant a school garden you have to stagger the planting, unlike a home garden.”

When the September harvest is made, the students will use the vegetables to make soup.

“We’ll have a ‘Soup Day,’” Lupia said. “We’ll serve it during the lunch period.”

In September, the third phase of the garden will be planted, which will feature kale, broccoli, spinach and winter lettuce.

The vegetables were started from both seeds and seedlings, which were obtained at a discount from Gossett Brothers Nursery.

The result of all this planting and harvesting was the creation of two Garden Clubs at the school, one for second grade and one for fifth grade. And besides learning about agriculture, there’s a side benefit: parents of Lewisboro students may no longer have to beg and cajole their kids to eat their veggies.

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