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Students grow their own salads; learn about nutrition

May 22, 2018

Hazelwood Middle School students participating in our New Albany, Ind., afterschool program spent six weeks learning about gardening, including growing their own produce in a Tower Garden in order to have year-round access to healthy foods.

A Tower Garden is a vertical, soil-less growing system that allows you to grow up to 20 vegetables, herbs, fruits, and flowers in less than three square feet—indoors or outside.

The students worked in groups to put the Tower Garden together, planted the seedlings, and spent the following weeks learning about the nutrients our bodies actually need vs. what we typically put into them. They learned about nutrition labels, and about what items are necessary to grow a successful garden.

After six weeks, the students and staff enjoyed the fruits of their labor with a Salad Party! The party was a huge success, with every student enjoying multiple plates of salad, with multiple fruit and vegetable combinations.

Comments included, “Who knew you could have raspberries on a salad?” “I only eat salad covered in dressing, but these salads do not even need a dressing, they taste so good.” “Can I have more, please? (for the third or even fourth time for some students).”

“I ate salad for the first time in my life (from a 13-year-old student).”

The students also were excited to learn that many of the lettuces will continue to grow, so that they may have more Salad Parties in the future.