NEW ORLEANS — It’s a beautiful day at Samuel J Green Chart School in Uptown, and a group of 5th grade students are gathered around one plant that is ready to be harvested.
They pull from the root and give each other a count as they try again to pluck the green leafy plant from the ground.
After a few grunts and struggles, they are successful.
They shake away the excess soil and give each other a smile and a nod.
It’s no secret that these students know a thing or two about gardening.
Thanks to the Edible Schoolyard, these green thumbed youngsters can put their school work to the test with some hands on experience.
“When I started learning, I thought it was really cool, because we get to grow things that we don’t usually grow at home,” shares 5th grade student, Kaymarie Ballesteros.
This program was created after Hurricane Katrina and was implemented to teach children to rely on natural resources and develop a love of fresh food.
After learning hands-on gardening, the students head into the kitchen for culinary classes.
“In our kitchen, we then go in and they learn chef skills, not just how to cook so they learn like knife skills, they learn how to saute, the difference between that and grilling,” says Jahmal Hurst, one of the garden educators for edible schoolyard.
The students learn how to cook and eat the plants that they grow, which is an important life skill that is often lost in our modern world.
“They love it, and it’s not something that is at every school, and they want to care for something,” says Hurst.
You will also find this program at these other three FirstLine Schools: Arthur Ashe Charter School, Langston Hughes Academy, and Phillis Wheatley Community School.
If you want to try some of the student-made goods, then you can buy tickets to the 10th Annual event, “An Edible Evening.”
It takes place on Thursday evening on April 4th at Langston Hughes Academy.
For more information, click here.