Park Hill middle school students plant herbs and produce to be used in cafeteria

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KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Sixth-grade students are getting a hands-on lesson in gardening as part of the ‘Green Team’ at Plaza Middle School in the Park Hill School District.

Aidan from Plaza Middle School

Aidan from Plaza Middle School

On Monday, they learned to plant cold-weather herbs and produce in the school’s garden. That food will then be used in school lunches in the district.

“We’re planting vegetables and herbs such as kale and broccoli and cauliflower and right now what we’re learning is how to spread the root support to get it from a pot into the ground,” explained¬†Aidan, a 6th-grader at Plaza Middle School.

Ronda McCullick, food service director of operations for the Park Hill School District, said October is National farm to School Month. She says the school district strives to serve local food to the students. When a vegetable is in the field one day, and on the table the next, the nutritional qualities are greater, she says.

The kids in the program seem to like that.

“I also play sports so I know that if I eat packaged food that isn’t as healthy and eat too much of that and don’t balance with the healthy food, I’m not going to be very good at my sport and I won’t be able to do good, really in life,” said Aidan.

Ronda McCullick,

Ronda McCullick

In addition to planting winter vegetables and herbs, the kids did some taste-testing of local produce.

McCullick says the pilot herb garden program is funded by a grant from the Platte County Health Department.