Spring is Getting Close and the Garden Is Calling!
Apr 11

Spring is Getting Close and the Garden Is Calling!

By Park Elementary School

Our Cooking in the Schools program at Park Elementary and throughout the Steel Valley School District is up and running! At Park, along with receiving Phipps’ Let’s Move grant, we were awarded a FarmStand from Lettuce Grow in September 2022. We immediately started a set of lettuce seedlings and were able to have a school lunch in October that included lettuce grown INSIDE our school! The Phipps grant continues to support new supplies and seedlings for the Farmstand and we hope to have another “Salad Day” this spring. The Fall Cooking Club students made some tasty meals and snacks, including quick refrigerator pickles (both standard pickled cucumbers and pickled green beans) using onions and garlic harvested from the school garden this past summer; waffles; pizza sauce using oregano from our FarmStand; cream cheese roll-ups; rice Krispie treats; and chocolate covered strawberries.

The Spring Cooking Club started in mid-February and will cook many of the same recipes as the Fall Cooking Clubs did. They are also excited for a visit from Abby Wolfe, registered dietician and Let’s Move Coordinator. She will come to the club sessions in early March to speak about bees, seeds and healthy eating as well as prepare a yummy chips and black bean, corn salsa snack.

First grade students in both Park and Barrett Elementary schools have planted peppers and basil that will be used in the school district garden and the yearly plant giveaway/donation fundraiser in May. Later in March, middle and high school Life Skills students will plant tomatoes for use in the garden as well.

We are starting to plan for the biggest part of our project, the Cooking in the Garden program, which takes place during three separate weeks of the summer. We will choose veggies growing in the school garden to showcase each week as we prepare delicious, healthy meals in our outdoor learning pavilion.

Spring is getting close and the garden is calling! A giant thanks to Phipps Conservatory and the Let’s Move Program for helping us to continue as well as expand this wonderful Cooking in the Schools program that has been so popular in our district for the past five years!