2017-10-11 / Front Page

Cavendish students learn about plants and food through After School Program

A group of students in the After School Program (ASP) at the Cavendish Town Elementary School show what they’ve grown in their vegetable garden.  — COURTESY PHOTOA group of students in the After School Program (ASP) at the Cavendish Town Elementary School show what they’ve grown in their vegetable garden. — COURTESY PHOTOCAVENDISH — Children in the After School Program (ASP) at the Cavendish Town Elementary School started a vegetable garden this past spring. The students with the help of Mr. Jon, the school custodian, built five raised beds and planted their seed starts, according to a press release from program organizers.

The student body enjoyed a harvest of green beans, cucumbers and peppers for school snack. The children have been using some of the crops in their farm to school cooking program to make pickles, brew mint tea, fry green tomatoes, and prepare butternut squash for the upcoming Thanksgiving Dinner. Tomatoes have been sliced and served at the Proctorsville Senior Community Dinner. They have also been used in the sauce for pizza, on the salad bar served in the school lunch program, and on tacos, along with green peppers that second- and fifth-graders shared during their “book chums” meeting celebrating "Dragons Love Tacos."

There are beautiful pumpkins, sunflowers, and artwork gracing the garden. The CTES Art Club painted pumpkins for the school Open House, and each grade got a pumpkin for their room. The sunflowers will be used to feed the students’ feathered friends. CTES students and our community have been scratching their heads, but have been amused over a “gigantic squash that has gone crazy getting bigger by the day,” according to the students. It's a mystery plant spanning over 15 feet.

Kids in the ASP will be starting a composting project at school this year to use up food from the food service program and the remaining plants when they winterize the garden beds. The ASP kids and teachers, Zoe Lirakis, Beth Oldenburg, Catie Tyrell, and Becky Plunkard, have learned a lot about the growth cycle of plants, how they get their food, and what vine ripened vegetables taste like, according to the group’s press release.

For now, they said they are all looking forward to enjoying the remaining crops and starting the cycle again next year.

Return to top