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Frenchtown school garden provides fresh vegetables for students

greenhouse
greenhouse
Posted at 10:49 PM, Dec 10, 2019
and last updated 2019-12-11 16:28:13-05

Frenchtown Elementary School students have a special connection to the lunches they eat every day.

Because of Freedom Gardens volunteer efforts and donations, students are learning how their food grows and tastes in the greenhouse behind the school.

Right now they are providing lettuce to the school cafeteria for school lunches.

"It tastes good, I really like it," fifth grade student Cash Olson said.

"It's a good idea because we're not wasting money on food and we can grow it ourselves and it tastes way better," added fellow fifth grade student Maryssa Skinner.

There is of course the educational aspect to Freedom Garden which shows kids where their food comes from.

“It's very important for them to know that food is not from the supermarket, it's really a growing living thing and that you can get it fresh and better and that fresher is better, and it has more nutrients,” said Mark Estep, the secretary of Freedom Gardens.

Freedom Garden is hopefully growing and developing the next generation of young farmers, so we can grow food locally.

“What we are trying to do is create a curriculum attached to a school,” said Freedom Garden President Robert Taylor. “Students (will) learn how to grow food locally so that we can start bringing the food supply closer to home.”

Taylor adds the fortunate thing is that Montana already has a wealth of agricultural knowledge, so they are off to a good start.

Many of the students at Frenchtowen Elementary School say they are having fun watching the process of it all.

"We got to see everything as it grew and there were these tanks that we got to see with like plastic things in them that help the plants grow it was actually pretty fun," Olson said.

The greenhouse and Freedom Garden program was all made possible due to donations and a USDA Farm to Table grant.

Freedom Garden provides around 30 to 40 pounds of lettuce for the Cafeteria per week and hopes to expand its offerings in the future.