- Associated Press - Sunday, November 22, 2015

TUPELO, Miss. (AP) - Parkway Elementary second-grader Cherish Brown thinks the purple cabbage she plucked from a raised bed in the school’s garden would make for a colorful salad.

The 7-year-old student said the thing she loves most about the various leafy greens and vegetables she and her classmates have been tending to is peeling them apart to see the various greens and yellows inside their leaves and stems.

“It looks really pretty if you have different colored vegetables,” Brown said.

Second-grade classes at Parkway have been tending to a vegetable garden outside the school since September with the help of FoodCorps volunteer Tylar Sester as part of Tupelo Schools’ “Growing Healthy Waves” program.

The students picked some of the vegetables Tuesday afternoon.

“They love seeing how much they’ve grown,” Sester said of the students at Parkway.

Sester said she was pleased with the leafy greens - cabbage, lettuce, kale and collard greens - which grew into large plants.

However, Sester said the flowering vegetables she and the students planted did not fare as well.

Because they did not have enough time to fully grow, Sester said, broccoli, cauliflower and Brussels sprout plants did not produce.

Even these underdeveloped plants, though, can serve as a lesson to students.

“With gardening, and especially with kids, the failures are almost like successes,” Sester said. “You can teach them why it didn’t work.”

Sester encouraged the students to tear the leaves, examine the structure of the plants and roots and ask questions.

Kreig Preinzow, 8, said he was surprised to see the varying types of leaves produced by the vegetables.

“They have different shapes and sizes,” he said.

Mickell Smith, 8, said he enjoyed watching the vegetables grow larger and larger.

“I like it because it’s fun, and we can take care of the world,” he said.

After they were done with the vegetables, students put the torn leaves into a compost pile, which will be used as soil for the school’s spring garden.

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Information from: Northeast Mississippi Daily Journal, https://djournal.com


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