The fruits (and veggies) of their labors


Staff of the Gulf County Extension Service and volunteers cooked up a feast from the garden at Port St. Joe Elementary School last week. More than 80 fifth-grade students lined up for a meal of greens, sweet potato pie, spinach and other goodies from the garden.

Tim Croft | The Star
Published: Thursday, May 8, 2014 at 09:20 AM.

Port St. Joe fifth-grader Hannah Tomlinson said the best part of the growing season at the elementary school garden is the “digging and the picking.”

Last week she and her classmates got down to the feasting.

Or as teacher Brenda Wood said, “The best lunch we have all year.”

The school’s “Seeds to Plate” program – part of a countywide effort to encourage healthier eating habits and bring some agricultural education to the schools – reached harvest time in recent weeks.

The folks at the Gulf County Extension Office, along with staff from the University of Florida, molded that harvest of spinach, greens, sweet potatoes, green beans and corn among other items into a spread that more than 80 fifth-grade students devoured post haste.

“This is good,” said Leondra Leslie through lips guarding a full mouth. “They really know how to cook.”

The feast is the payoff for the students tasked with maintaining the garden all year long.

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