Beth Labenz, University of Minnesota Extension SNAP-Ed educator, taught nutrition to students at Butterfield-Odin School when they were in third and fourth grade. During fifth-grade, they learned about gardening and made recipes with produce from a Tower Garden, which uses air and nutrients but no soil. They even shared some produce with other students through the school cafeteria.
The school was able to purchase the Tower Garden with funds from the Statewide Health Improvement Partnership (SHIP) for students to grow fresh produce all year long in the back of their classroom. When the Tower Garden isn’t in use at the school, its home becomes the Butterfield hardware store.
“My favorite thing about the Tower Garden in the classroom was how much the kids learned,” says Lucy Ammann, fifth-grade teacher. “I think they learned that, you know, food just doesn’t come from the grocery store, that it takes a while to get the food."
Watch the video below to hear what students say they learned and liked about this experience.