May 31, 2018 Academics

Hometown Farmer – Riverside School Garden

Roughly 100 kids were busy planting a garden in the heat at Riverside Elementary in Sioux City Friday, May 25th.

The students started by planting flowers and carrots in the garden plot, just across the street from the school.

The flowers help attract pollinating insects to garden, in it’s 6th growing season.

Laurie Taylor volunteers with the kids. She says they don’t just learn about the plants by doing this outdoor work, they also learn about the animals and insects the kids might find in the garden, too.

“That’s what I teach the students, that some bugs are squishables and some are beneficial,” said Taylor, a volunteer garden coordinator for the school. “So they learn the difference between the good bugs and the bad bugs, too.”

Last year the kids grew just under 2,000 lbs. of produce and close to 2-tons at all three school gardens.

Unity and Spalding Park Elementary Schools both have gardens, as well.

The kids grow everything from broccoli and potatoes to marigolds, horseradish and even asparagus.

Taylor says growing the veggies helps the kids learn they might just like the way they taste.

“You have kids eating brussels sprouts,” said Taylor. “I think that is the one thing that the most people are so surprised by that we grow and the kids love.”

The kids volunteer to help clean and weed the gardens all summer. Then, they get to take home and eat what they’ve grown.

Taylor says a lot of students who’ve helped out with this start their own gardens at home.

View the full story from KMEG
by Jacob Heller