School Garden Spotlight: Rosebank Radishes are a Garden Treat

Rosebank Elementary Principal Scott Woodward was showing a visitor his school garden, pointing out planter beds with snapdragons, sunflowers, tomatoes, and radishes. Research shows that children who plant and harvest their own fruits and vegetables are more likely to eat them, he noted.

“Everything that is growing in here is from seeds,” Woodward said. “We got all the seeds from Target. When Target closed a garden center, they gave us all their seeds. Every grade level has a bed. Our parents have a bed, our GATE students and our Special Education students have a bed.”

In fact, more and more students in the Chula Vista Elementary School District are “getting their hands dirty,” working in school gardens with staff members and parents with the goal of promoting better health and nutrition.

At Rosebank, Woodward found a central location near the school playground, razed a tree that was converted to garden mulch, and appealed to his Parent Club and Student Council for help. Parents and students built 10 raised planter boxes. The Master Gardeners of San Diego provided volunteers to help the students with the planting.

“The total cost of everything you see here is about $6,300,” Woodward explained. “The fence was $3,100–that was the major expense. Our Parent Club paid for the entire garden.”

The garden serves as a teaching tool to improve student healthy behaviors.

“The students are so excited about it,” Woodward said. “For me, one of the reasons why I really like this location is that it is in the middle of the school. Every kid walks by this garden every day. You hear the kids talking about the things that are going on and about wanting to try the food that is growing in the garden. Research shows that if kids are involved in the planting and growing, they are more likely to try the food. We are really looking at ways to help kids with better health choices.”

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