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Learn It, Grow It, Eat It School-Year Program

LGE works with high school students in and out of the classroom during the school year. Staff works with students from four high schools and work in 3 community gardens in the Morrisania section of the South Bronx. In fall/winter, our in-class students make a bee-line for the community garden before cold weather sets in to learn how plants and their environment work, and help harvest our fall vegetables (kale, chard, okra, tomatoes, peppers). Back in the classroom they use their new-found appreciation of natural foods to take a closer look at their favorite processed foods. They learn to use the information found on food-labels and the websites of fast food restaurants to examine the amounts of sugar, fat and sodium that they are eating and how to make healthier choices. We end the semester with a look at where our food comes from and the impact of food production on the environment and how to work with nature to grow healthy food.

In the spring semester we repeat the process but in reverse. Nutition education followed by hands-on gardening - preparing soil, planting seeds and transplants, watering and weeding. This past year we hired a part-time urban farmer to work with our students to plan and plant the gardens and learn about the role of soil critters, cover crops and how to identify the most common urban weeds.