Daly Elementary students get a taste of freshness

Second graders harvest radishes. In the foreground is the lettuce. The fence posts are holding netting on which the pea vines are climbing.

By Kim Thompson
Staff Writer

Kids got a taste of fresh, locally-grown food at a Salad Party held May 23 at the Daly Elementary School.

Fayette Farmers Market vendors pooled their resources to provide salads of lettuce, radishes, strawberries, pecans and feta cheese to kindergartners, first and second graders.

Jamie Bryant of Blue Bell Farms said, “We want to show kids how much better fresh, locally-grown food tastes as compared to food that was harvested weeks ago and has traveled hundreds of miles to the grocery store.”

The Salad Party also included harvesting of radishes and lettuce that the students had planted earlier. In March, students planted lettuce, radish and pea seeds in biodegradable containers. Once the seeds sprouted, the seedlings were transplanted to the school’s garden plot on the south side of Clark Middle School.

Fayette Farmers Market vendors and other volunteers from the community have created a delightful garden setting: There are three raised beds and plans to build four more this summer. This would allow each grade level to have their own raised bed.

This year, each of the participating grade levels grew lettuce, radishes and peas. The pea vines are growing up netting material in between the rows of lettuce and radishes. Colorful containers are filled with garden soil which will have tomatoes in them this summer. The plants will be maintained this summer by garden volunteers in the hopes that the kids will get to enjoy tomatoes in the fall. The whole garden area is surrounded by a charming green fence with painted, wooden sun flowers topping fence posts.

Bryant praised school officials for promoting the garden concept. “They really took it and ran with it,” she said. While the Fayette Farmers Market vendors provided supplies and expertise, the School Nurse Kelly Beeler, along with other educators, emphasized the importance of the garden by scheduling times to work in it and then putting together a Salad Party.

One little girl eating salad was heard to say, “This is the best salad I have ever tasted!”

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