Howell Road Elementary Students Harvest Their Own Vegetables to Cook with
The Howell Road Elementary School in the Valley Stream Union Free School District Thirteen recently had a plentiful harvest in their very own homegrown vegetable garden right on school grounds. This was the first year that the garden had been planted at Howell.
Howell Road has been eager to transform a small section of barren area in their schoolyard into a flourishing vegetable garden. Kindergarten-3rd grade students aided in the process of planning, growing, harvesting, vegetables from the garden with the help of sixth grade students. The sixth graders in the Garden Club, polled the kindergarten through third grade students as to what they would like to have planted in the garden. Corn and carrots were the most popular responses—but students also grew carrots, tomatoes, basil, sage and more.
“Our goal with this garden was to increase student awareness of how the Earth and its resources are used to meet our needs,” said Mr. Huplosky, Principal at Howell Road Elementary School. “It’s a pleasure to see the students receive the rewarding experience of being able to eat what they have grown themselves.”
Students chose to use the square foot garden approach, a method developed by Mel Bartholomew, to efficiently maximize the time and effort put into gardening an area. Through this method, the garden was accessible to students, required a lighter workload, and produced an optimal amount of vegetables to enjoy.
Centerplate – a hospitality provider to many of North America’s leading venues such as Jones Beach State Park and Belmont Park locally – helped sponsor the garden and the materials necessary for the gardening, as a way to support the surrounding community in which it serves. The school also received donations from the Howell Road PTA.
Following the harvest of the vegetables, Centerplate Executive Chef Drew Revella joined the students to make a delicious kid-friendly yogurt dip using their vegetables and reviewed with them some tips for cooking at home safely. Teachers and staff hoped this cross-grade collaboration would inspire Howell Road students and families to spend more time planting, cooking, and eating healthy foods together.