"At Food Corps we love to do any kind of gardening, food, and nutrition lessons, as well as educate students on where their food comes from," says Allly Staab with Food Corps in Norwalk.
For years, Tower Garden has served as a classroom learning model teaching students about the basics, like science, technology, engineering, and mathematics, to even more tactile things, like cooking and garden maintenance. Currently, Tower Garden is used in over 7,500 classrooms in 49 states across the country -- and that number just keeps on growing as Tower Garden expands its global footprint.
"Since 2017, the Tower Garden has been at Brookside Elementary. Last year I kind of experimented a little with it. This year was Tower Garden’s time to shine, and I’ve been invested in making it work. There is a huge chunk of time here where it is too cold to be growing outside, so having a Tower Garden has been really helpful. In a Connecticut climate, I’m still able to grow a bunch of different stuff indoors. Every grade level has had some type of experience or interaction with Tower Garden," says Allly.
The role of the tower garden in the classroom is to let kids understand how growing indoors can be beneficial, and how you can produce your own food during the colder months indoors. Kids are taught that even in a city apartment, food can be grown.
"The speed of growth is so great that the kids can see it before their eyes. They can measure and observe. We’ve done taste tests where we’ve done a salad with romaine lettuce, and then we added in cucumbers and tomatoes and salad dressing from the store. We had a bunch of herbs growing and made salsa with cilantro. They are able to see the full system, from planting to harvesting, and taste the fresh food.," Staab explains.
"A lot of the students at our school may not have access to fresh, healthy foods all the time, and if we can give them access, I think it’s super important. If students are more invested in watching a plant grow, the more likely they are to try it. They usually really like it, even if they are nervous to try it at first."
Staab notes that "A lot of the students at our school may not have access to fresh, healthy foods all the time, and if we can give them access, I think it’s super important. If students are more invested in watching a plant grow, the more likely they are to try it. They usually really like it, even if they are nervous to try it at first. Sometimes we hold up our piece of lettuce together and thank it, and then eat it all at once. I try to make it as fun and engaging as possible. Even if they are scared to try it, if all of their friends are trying it, they are more likely to do so."
Read the complete article at www.towergarden.com.
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