Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Seed to Salad (and Chickens!)

Second graders at the Valley Cottage Elementary School planted a "Seed to Salad" garden in their school courtyard last month.  Developed by the Ithaca Children's Garden at Cornell and implemented here by enrichment teacher Michele Signorile, the "Seed to Salad" curriculum is designed to allow kids to sow and harvest edible plants by the end of the school year. The seed-sowing endeavor was supplemented by other nutrition education activities that enabled kids to identify and vote for their favorite vegetable, play in an obstacle course that simulated the human body, and learn about worm composting.

The students expect to harvest several kinds of lettuce greens, spinach, radishes, arugula and baby carrots for their salad by the end of June.

Since the "Seed to Salad" program was part of a larger nutrition unit, I brought Leah and Goldi in for a personal visit.

Heard at the scene:

"She looks mad at me."

"How many feathers do they have?"

"Can I eat these weird colored eggs?"

"He's pecking, he's pecking!"

"Let 'em out!"

"How come there aren't chicks in these eggs? "

"She pooped!"

"I know how to hold a chicken."

"Are you gonna eat them?"

"Is one of these a rooster?"

All of the second graders got to pet the chickens and many were amazed that they were so soft.   Some of the kids thought at first that they were a couple and that Leah, with her larger comb and wattle, was a rooster.  After a couple of hours of being stared at and stroked by a hundred little hands, the girls were glad to get home to their quiet backyard.


Ashling said...

What a wonderful project, and a great idea to bring in the chickens. It's imperative that young people begin to make a connection with their food, and where it comes from.

tina said...

Those rows of seedlings look so good! I bet those kids loved petting the chickens.

Joanne said...

I'm always amazed at how much the school there does with gardening/agriculture. I hope the kids have a lifelong appreciation of growing food.

We'll be planting our garden in a couple of weeks, but we don't start from seed. I buy seedlings from a local farmer, and the lettuce is amazing. Can't wait.

Malay-Kadazan girl said...

Leah and Goldi are so popular now. A marvellous program for the kids.

Wendy McDonagh-Valentine said...

This is absolutely wonderful that V.C. kids get to do this!!! I can't believe how many people have chickens around here now. I was just talking about that with a friend who has eight of them. Several of my boys' friends have them. I think it's great!!!! : )

~ Wendy

TALON said...

I love that the hens had a field trip :) And it's wonderful that the children got to experience them firsthand.

The garden looks wonderful! What a fabulous program that is, JGH.