Westhampton Beach Elementary School students stood in the school’s greenhouse on a sunny afternoon in March, astounded by the bounty of greens they had been growing since January. It was harvesting day.
The students had the opportunity to taste the winter microgreens they had grown, which included arugula, broccoli rabe, spinach and lettuce, and took turns harvesting the garden beds.
Their crops, which grew without added heat, yielded enough to allow the school’s head chef to create a generous salad that all students enjoyed on March 18.
The PTA-sponsored garden project officially kicked off this school year with the goal of teaching students about growing seasons and the art of gardening. Farm educator Renato Stafford led the project.
With the winter greens harvested, the students will work on another round of planting. They will be growing potatoes, snap peas, tomatoes, cucumbers and peppers, and as the weather grows warmer, they will start tending outdoor beds behind the greenhouse. They will also be learning about the composting process.