Learning the importance of vegetables from the very beginning.

Learning the importance of vegetables from the very beginning.

Sowing Seeds of Nutrition: Greenport Students Learning to Plant & Cultivate Edible Garden

Sowing Seeds of Nutrition is an excerpt from The Suffolk Times, Thursday, May 5, 2011 by Julie Lane/staff writer.


First Lady Michelle Obama is reaching out to encourage local communities to help their children become healthy by teaching them about nutrition, now Greenport is jumping on board.

What started as a small organic edible garden project at the Elementary School has blossomed into a community effort involving students from Kindergarten through grade 12 plus local residents and merchants, including restaurateur Rosa Ross of Scrimshaw in Greenport. She's showing how to use the healthy vegetables they grow to make delectable meals. Ms. Ross was among the chefs Ms. Obama called to Washington last year to spearhead the effort to improve children's nutrition. Not quite sure at first how she might implement a local program, along came Greenport School Nurse Carol Worth who was ready to put Ms. Ross' skills to work.

Ms. Worth began exploring the organic gardens springing up at various East End schools and became intrigued by the "edible schoolyard" projects that have spread from California to the East Coast. Working with Maryann Birmingham from Cornell Cooperative Extension, she saw the garden as a means of giving life to her lectures about proper nutrition. Students have so taken to heart Ms. Birmingham's lessons about proper nutrition that she needs only to walk through the cafeteria to have students come up to her to show off the vegetables they've brought for lunch in place of the sweet and salty snacks that once dominated their lunch bags.

But the edible garden doesn't end with the planting. Ms. Ross' talents will be pressed into service in teaching students how their homegrown vegetables can enhance school cafeteria menus.

As of late, the students had a recipe contest for the best salad dressing. A young lady from the 5th grade won and is having the salad dressing bottled by a local food processor. The salad dressing was sold at a school fundraiser and brought in a total of $200.00 to help support costs for the Garden.

"It's unbelievable what a community can do to build something wonderful for the school", Ms. Worth said.

Last updated October 28, 2016