TRENTON — Students have harvested the first crop grown in the greenhouse that was built last year at Trenton Elementary School. On May 12, seventh-grade students took turns snipping off tender young lettuce leaves for the salad bar in the cafeteria.
Last month, some of them had helped build frames for the raised beds in the greenhouse, and students in kindergarten through eighth grade planted lettuce, spinach and radish seeds.
Teacher Cindy Lambert said the idea behind the greenhouse is to give students a personal stake in food production and to encourage them to make healthy food choices. She and the school’s cook, Teresa Gray, have been working to increase the selection of fruits and vegetables in the school lunch program.
“We strongly felt that if the students grew the vegetables, they would be more likely to try them,” Ms. Lambert said. “One of our next steps is to build more raised beds so there is more growing space for each grade.”
Ms. Lambert said the students’ hands-on experience in the greenhouse definitely has a positive effect.
“Something happens when students get their hands dirty,” she said. “They become excited and engaged.”