Pine Grove Manor School Students Participate In ‘Seed To Salad’ Program

MG Seeds to Salad Photo Pine Grove

Ed Robinson teaches Pine Grove Manor school students how to weed a garden. Photo: Rutgers Master Gardeners of Somerset County.

Submitted by Rutgers Master Gardeners of Somerset County.

In June the Rutgers Master Gardeners of Somerset County completed its “Seeds to Salad” program with 2nd, 3rd and 4th graders at Pine Grove Manor Elementary School and 3rd graders at Whiton Elementary school in Branchburg.

The program reaped in giant salads which fed over 300 children, teachers, and Master Gardener volunteers.

It took many weeks of preparation to reach the much anticipated “Harvest Day”. In early spring the children planted various types of lettuce, kale, radishes, beets, arugula, Swiss chard, carrots, spinach, onions and other vegetables. The students were also instructed in how and why it is important to water, weed, thin and transplant their crops as the plants grew. Master Gardeners also presented weekly lessons about several topics such as soil and soil temperature, “good bugs/bad bugs”, worms, tropism and much more.

For many children “Harvest Day” was a highlight as they pulled up the vegetables they had grown and shortly afterward enjoyed consuming them at “Salad Extravaganza” parties in each school. In addition, at Pine Grove Manor, 3rd grade students planted a crop of cabbage. Teachers and volunteers will continue to monitor and water the cabbages during the summer, and students will harvest in September when the cabbages are fully grown.

The Rutgers Master Gardener program is a volunteer organization of the New Jersey Agricultural Experiment Station.

The Rutgers Master Gardeners of Somerset County are currently accepting applications for Fall 2016. Classes will be held once a week on Tuesdays from 9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. from September 2016 to March 2017 at the New Jersey Agricultural Experiment Station Rutgers Cooperative Extension offices, 310 Milltown Road in Bridgewater. Residents with an interest in gardening and a commitment to volunteer service can become a Rutgers Master Gardener. No previous education or training in horticulture is required. Call (908) 526-6293, option four, or pick up an application packet at the Milltown Road office. The deadline to return the application is July 29th.

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