Growing food isn’t just for farmers – now these first graders grow their own lettuce for lunch. They also serve it in the school cafeteria, where it was enjoyed by their fellow students. .
At Farmington View Elementary first graders recently learned what farm-to-table is all about. Not many classes grown their own food and serve it to their peers, but that is just what these children did.
They learned about the growth of lettuce, and also about healthy eating.
The experience was an eye opener for their teacher Robin Davies, who called the experience historic.
“I’ve taught here 27 years and we’ve never had anybody grow food and serve it in the cafeteria,” she said. “I was more excited than the kids.”
Students planted three types of lettuce seeds using recycled milk cartons in mid-February. They took a field trip to Blooming Farm in Cornelius on March 14 to plant the starts in garden beds.
Davies checked on the plants after a few weeks, then went back to the farm to harvest. A friend helped her make a video describing the process. Back at school, she showed the video to her students. Their learning experience, based on a math curriculum farm unit, also included lessons about the plant cycle and nutrition.
Young children can be known to oppose eating leafy greens and other vegetables. But Davies said 26 of her 28 students tasted their lettuce in class.
Farmington View students and staff enjoyed a salad bar featuring the lettuce on Tuesday. Davies said her students got excited that other people were eating food they had helped grow.
“The first graders were just beaming,” she said.
Davies said she was inspired by First Lady Michelle Obama’s healthy eating initiative and a gardening workshop she attended in Salem.