In addition to growing good nutritious food in their garden, many Harrington Elementary School students are growing their language skills. While visiting the garden, ELD (English Language Development) students draw pictures of the vegetables and write two sentences in their plant journal. When the students return to class, the sentences and art are shared.
“This process combines writing, reading and oral language practices,” said ELD instructor, Amanda Dempsey. “As the school year went on, the sentences became more and more complex and included new vocabulary words such as harvest, soil and sprouting.”
It is thanks to Deardorff Family Farms and Thomas DeWan, Deardorff’s organic production manager that the garden has sprouted again. Mr. DeWan has spent the last few months helping the school re-vitalize the garden and now they have a crop of delicious vegetables to harvest. In addition to the seedling, supplies and volunteer time provided by Deardorff Family Farms, Tom Deardorff presented the school with $1,000 from Western Growers Foundation.
Students are able to go home with heads of lettuce and sweet peas to share with their families, but their favorite is kale. Genesis, a fourth grader, wrote a report on kale, which includes an interesting fact that kale was heavily cultivated during World War II because it was cheap, nutritious, and easy to grow.
The students love taking home the kale to make kale chips. Here is their recipe:
Tear the kale leaves into bite sized pieces (tossing the thick stems). Put kale leaves into a large bowl and mix (with hands) with olive oil and sea salt. Lay kale leaves on a cookie sheet as a single layer and bake at 225 degrees for 25 minutes.
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