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Fourth-Grade Students Return Gahanna to its Agricultural Roots

Veggie U
Fourth-Grade Students Return Gahanna to its Agricultural Roots

Miniature indoor farms to grow the seeds of wise food choices, combating disease, and a sustainable agriculture

More than 500 Gahanna-Jefferson fourth-grade students are transforming their classrooms from high-tech learning centers to agricultural learning centers.

Through a specially designed curriculum by Veggie U, 22 GJPS fourth-grade classrooms have been provided with Earth to Table™ kits, complete with seeds, soil, flats, root-view boxes, grow lights and even a worm farm. These materials allow the student to see, hear, taste, feel and experience the process of planting, growing and harvesting a crop in their classroom; and best of all - eating the results at an upcoming Vegetable Feast Day to be held at each school.

Chapelfield ES Instructor Fran Flowers guides her
students as
they plant radish and popcorn seeds in
three different types of
soil including sand, field
soil, and compost in order to
observe which soil
promotes the best growth.

Pictured L-R Hayden Sindledecker,
Ryan Mehalic, Makaela

Murphy, and Elisabeth Smith.
Within the hands-on, scientific approach to learning about plants and their components, the Veggie U curriculum include the study of soil, composting, planting, nutrition, plant anatomy and mathematical measurement.

“We believe our students will greatly benefit from understanding the connection between what they consume and how that food is grown,” said Kristy Flynn, a GJPS curriculum coordinator.

Veggie U is currently in place in more than 1800 classroom across 26 states. Overall, it is funded through private donations and various corporate sponsorships. Locally, the Mount Carmel Health System, the Gahanna-Jefferson Education Foundation and  HHA Food & Nutrition Management Services, Inc., have assisted in underwriting the start-up cost of $400 per classroom.

Veggie U, the 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization at the Culinary Vegetable Institute is committed to the well-being of children through a healthy lifestyle, with a focus on making wise food choices. Accordingly, these choices will combat growing adolescent and juvenile disease.

11.11.2011 Gahanna News: Veggies, Knowledge Growing in Gahanna class
By Pamela Willis

Gahanna Hearts and Global Minds |