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Harvesting Veggies

posted Sep 22, 2015, 11:22 AM by Rosanne McHenry
Plum Cove students harvested over 70 pounds of produce on this year's Fall Harvest Day with Backyard Growers. On Monday, over 200 K-5 students at Plum Cove harvested the potatoes, beets, carrots, squash, pumpkins, and beans they planted in their school garden last June.

This year, Plum Cove had several special guests. Representative Ann Margaret Ferrante, Mayor Sefatia Romeo Theken, and Councilman Bill Fonvielle all stopped by to spend some time out in the gardens with the kids. These legislators joined Backyard Growers' executive director Lara Lepionka, FoodCorps service member Meghan Stratton, and MassLIFT service members Courtland Kelly and Marina Lavender who were all there leading students through the harvest.

Since 2013 Backyard Growers has led a unique program that gives 100% of Gloucester's K-5 students the opportunity to plant, harvest, and eat two garden crops a year in collaboration with the School Food Service Department. The program includes Salad Days, where students plant leaf lettuce varieties that they harvest and enjoy in June, and Fall Harvest Days, where each grade level plants a specific fall crop that is harvested and enjoyed in the cafeteria when students return in the fall. Over 1,300 students get their hands dirty in school gardens and eat delicious, school-grown vegetables each year, giving students a true seed-to-fork experience that fosters a new appreciation for fresh vegetables! 

Written by Megan Statton, Backyard Growers