Sunday, September 30, 2012

Harvest 4-Health 2012 - New Franklin and St. Thomas

In 2012, Franklin County Master Gardeners and the 4-H program expanded our efforts of 2011 at Thaddeus Stevens Elementary, to gardens at the New Franklin Elementary School and St. Thomas Elementary School.

Swallowtail Butterfly Caterpillar on Parsley
Here are pictures taken by First Grade teacher, Kathy Goetz, of her garden at the New Franklin Elementary School, which included pollinator plants supplied by us and the Natural Conservation and Resource Service of USDA.

Monarch Butterfly Caterpillar on Balloon Milkweed
Kathy writes:
I wanted to thank you for the plants you gave us last spring for the New Franklin School Garden.

Buckeye Butterfly
I saw a lot more butterflies this summer. We had lots of buckeye butterflies. The balloon milkweed attracted some monarch caterpillars, and I found a swallowtail caterpillar on the parsley.

The cook, Susie Faust, made cabbage rolls for the students to try from a cabbage grown in the garden.

She also made butternut squash (grown in the garden) using garlic seasoning, some peppers from the garden, olive oil and black pepper. It was really good. The trick was getting students to try it, but once they did most of them liked it.

Butternut Squash
Last week we went out to dig up our carrots. I had given the students little paper bags for their carrots. They soon found ripe tomatoes and green peppers. They held their bags open as they asked for tomatoes and peppers to take home. It felt like Halloween, except I was handing out vegetables instead of candy!
Elsewhere, Penny Sanders at the St. Thomas School, also started a vegetable garden with elementary school kids.  They also created a website, documenting their efforts. Here's an excerpt, but go to the link to follow their spring-summer progress:
This garden was proposed by Christine Palmer (Fourth Grade Teacher) and Penny Sanders (Kindergarten Teacher). Both teachers wanted to extend the classroom learning experience and felt a garden would be a great way to enhance concepts being taught in science. It was also a great way to follow up on nutritional facts being taught through the lunch and snack programs at St. Thomas.

It goes to show how enthusiasm for a subject can do wonders toward accomplishing a goal - something that, absence its presence, can often lead to sowing seed on rocky ground. Who knows what will bloom from the seeds that have been planted in the minds of this new generation.

The Thaddeus Stevens effort has also expanded along with the Kids Learning After School (KLAS) program to include the Ben Chambers Elementary School, and I'll have pictures and another blog post documenting the 2012 efforts there in a future post.

Much thanks to the MG Harvest 4-Health Team for all their hard work and the volunteer hours in support.

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