Gardens built with hopes to teach kids about service and nutrition

The new “Everybody’s Garden,” complete with hanging tomatillos at Chippewa Middle School. (Danielle Korby/Bulletin)
The new “Everybody’s Garden,” complete with hanging tomatillos at Chippewa Middle School. (Danielle Korby/Bulletin)

Tomatoes and tomatillos are among the many different plants that grow in Chippewa Middle School's new garden.

Chippewa Middle School secretary Jennifer Tinerella said the garden was planted last school year by a college preparatory class. Tinerella has helped maintain the garden this summer along with Mounds View High School students and a Girl Scout troop, she said.

The garden is home to many different kinds of crops including tomatoes, parsley, kale, celery, leeks, peppers and tomatillos, sometimes known as Mexican husk tomatoes.

Other elementary, middle school and district buildings — 11 in total —  also built gardens last school year as part of an "Everybody's Garden" project in Mounds View Public Schools. The gardens were built with funds from a State Health Improvement Program grant.

Everybody's Garden coordinator Greg Herder said classes at each of the elementary and middle schools would study the gardens' fruits and vegetables and donate them to the Ralph Reeder Food Shelf.

"We want teachers to look at [the gardens] as a resource, and we want the community to look at [them] as a resource too," Herder said.

The gardens would be a great way for students to learn about the importance of nutritious foods and service in their communities, he said.

"We don't want kids to think what they're learning is just something that happens inside the classroom," Herder said.

—Danielle Korby

 

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