Gardening puts strong 'roots' in kids' education

October 10, 2017 05:43 PM

BETHLEHEM - New York recently announced $1 million in funding for school districts across the state to support "Farm to School" programs. These are opportunities to connect with local farmers to get fresher, healthier foods on the lunch menu.

Bethlehem Middle School has been doing something like this for years now. The difference? Students are the farmers.

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The program is doing so well it has blossomed well beyond the cafeteria.

If you've ever tried planting a garden, you know it's no easy task. However, the kids in the Garden Club at the school make it look easy by growing a tremendous amount of organic veggies on the grounds and eating them too.

At Bethlehem, the 8-year-old Garden Club program is part of a bigger "Green Team" that focuses on the energy we use, the garbage we make and the food we eat. The message - take care of Mother Earth and she takes care of you.

Assistant Principal Mark Warford is the "veggie whisperer." He's started similar garden clubs just about everywhere he's ever worked.

John Grizzaffi was so impressed with what the Bethlehem kids were growing, he offers them on the menu at his restaurant, Garden Bistro 24, Tuesdays in October.

Fifteen percent of all Tuesday sales - not just the veggie plates - go back to the garden program at Bethlehem.


WNYT Staff

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