Thanks to the guidance of our friends at Backyard Growers in Gloucester, MA, we've adopted their amazing school garden program called Salad Days and Fall Harvest Days. Salad Days takes place in the spring, when students in grades K-5 plant lettuce, harvest it 6-8 weeks later, and then turn around and plant a fall crop such as beets, potatoes, squash, or dry beans. Fast forward to September, and students head back out into the garden to harvest the vegetables that they planted in June. What's more, we roast them up and serve them in the cafeteria so that students can have a complete seed to fork experience.
Our students had a blast out in the garden with FoodCorps Service Members, Molly and Kelly. They took turns in groups either playing a fun veggie-themed game or harvesting from their class garden bed. At Stefanik, students harvested over 70 lbs of vegetables, including carrots, beets, potatoes, squash, pumpkins, and dry beans. At Bowe, students harvested beets, dry beans, and potatoes. The roasted potatoes at Bowe we're a big hit, with many students asking for seconds!
As always, we're so proud of Chicopee students for being adventurous in the cafeteria, and willing to get their hands dirty in the garden. We're looking forward to spring so we can begin the process all over again with Salad Days!
If you would like to be involved with our garden programming, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org, or fill out the volunteer form on our website here.
The ChicopeeFRESH team is a group of creative individuals who are working to feed Chicopee students healthy, local and FRESH foods each day.