May 4, 2015
On a cool, overcast morning on April 30, Emma C. Chase Elementary School received a very dirty makeover, courtesy of Catskill Mountainkeeper. Staff, parents and community volunteers, along with a few students, filled ten fruit and vegetable beds with soil, hammered them into shape and set several young buds in place.
“The school wanted to create an edible garden to offer students an opportunity to learn about nutrition, leadership and teamwork. This will give our students the chance to experience the growing process and then sample what they grew!” explained Chase Social/Emotional Wellness Teacher and Garden Project Manager Joe Prestianni.
The garden will give students the opportunity to learn where their food comes from, how it grows, and that a healthy diet starts with fresh fruits and vegetables.
Teachers can use the garden and create integrated lessons with the core curriculum, including math, social studies, language arts, science, health and art.
The Edible Garden Project was created by Catskill Mountainkeeper and partnering organizations –Cornell Cooperative Extension, Center for Workforce Development, Green Village Initiative, Sullivan Renaissance, The Chase PTO and Every Person Influences Children (EPIC) as a way to enhance youth understanding of the food web; raise awareness of the components of a local healthy food system and its connection to healthy communities, and increase understanding of food systems as complex and interconnected aspects of community development.