Kids Dig Up More Than Learning
Some elementary school children in Rapid City are learning how to use the most of the land by gardening and then cooking the food they grow.
If you drive be General Beadle Elementary this summer, you may notice an 8 foot tall sunflower plant. But that's just the tip of the large garden the school has planted this summer. And with so many students drawn to it, the school had to plan a whole camp around it.
Cheryl Jarding, Garden Coordinator, says, "We started this garden earlier this summer and decided that there was such a large interest in it with the students that we decided that we would have a garden camp. So, this week we are having a garden camp, and the kids are doing a lot of the cooking and a lot of the harvesting."
Hannah Bonner, a Garden Camp student, says, "It's very new to me, ’cause I've never done it before. I've seen gardens like this before but I've never actually been participating in one like this."
And with students of all ages getting down a dirty, they are learning a lot about planting gardens and eating healthy.
Isaac Bonner, another Garden Camp student, says, "It is very dirty. We get to use shovels. Little shovels."
Young students learn that food doesn't just come from a store, but is grown from the ground and on trees. And the camp goes through the entire cycle – from planting the seeds in the ground, to harvesting vegetables, and finally chopping cooking them up so they can end up on our dinner plate.
Jarding says, "I think the kids so enjoyed the cooking part, because we cooked at least twice a day."
Bonner says, "We cooked the zucchini bread and that was our favorite. Right now we're cooking relish and apple sauce. And cinnamon apple sauce."
Bonner says, "It's real fun, and I actually know what it's like to cook now!"
Between 30 and 50 kids participated in the camp this year. But now that it's over, that doesn't mean the garden is through with.
Jarding says, "A lot of the produces that we have we do give to the needy families. All the students get to take produce home, and then the families at General Beadle are able to use our potatoes, our peppers, whatever they can use."
The garden will continue to grow, which means the food that's been planted will be picked and given to students and their families at General Beadle.