BLACKFOOT — Students at Lillian Vallely School have been learning about growing fresh fruits, vegetables and herbs. On Monday, they each took turns planting items in their new garden plot at the school.
Lillian Vallely was one of 15 schools throughout Idaho to receive a $2,000 grant from the State Department of Education to build a garden to promote nutrition, science and agricultural education.
In the 3,400 square-foot garden students have planted raspberries, corn, squash and pumpkins. Principal Jeff Nauman said they chose items to grow that will be ready for harvest after the students return next year. Gayle Laird is the garden site manager who coordinated the planting of the raspberry starts and seeds.
In addition to the garden, each student has already prepared, planted and has viable plants growing in individual container gardens. Each student will take their container garden home with them this summer to provide fresh vegetables and herbs to their families. Each student chose from 17 vegetables and herbs to fill their personal gardens.
The grant was funded through the State Department of Education Child Nutrition Programs Team Nutrition grant so nutrition education must be a part of every school garden plan. Since school cafeterias are allowed to serve food grown in school gardens to students, the schools are encouraged to partner with their school foodservice personnel on these projects.