Edible art reinforces learning in garden class

Published 10:19 am Wednesday, June 21, 2017

By JOYANNA LOVE/ Senior Staff Writer

Edible flowers were on the menu for YMCA of Chilton County campers during the gardening class presented by the Alabama Cooperative Extension System Chilton County office.

After learning about the different structures that make up plants, students used vegetables to create a flower, and then ate the vegetables with lite ranch dip.

“Our program is called Food and Nutrition in the Garden, so we are teaching them about plants and different kinds of plants and we get to try different vegetables and fruits,” Lisa McCullough of the Chilton County Extension Office said.

The class meets weekly and includes a teaching time, a project and a snack. McCullough said the goal was to get children to “eat more fruits and vegetables.”

“We want them to understand that is where your most nutritious food comes from … the garden,” McCullough said.

Students have learned about squash and how plants grow. McCullough said peaches will be the focus for next week.

“We had broccoli, cauliflower, carrots and spinach last week, so we are trying to introduce them to vegetables that they can eat raw or they can eat cooked,” McCullough said.

The class is a compilation of resources the Extension office has used in prior children’s programs.

“When they taste vegetables for the first time that they have never tasted … they really like it,” McCullough said.

Those who try a new vegetable or fruit receive “I tried it” stickers.

While many in Chilton County do have vegetable gardens, McCullough said it is important for all children to know where food comes from.

This is the first year the extension office has offered a weekly class at the extension office.