Kindergartners go green with their own garden

HAVERFORD, Pa. - November 3, 2011

Teachers there are using Chile peppers and chickens to teach their students valuable life lessons.

Teachers are exposing their young students to hands-on lessons in sustainability and the environment, and the kids are learning and loving it.

The kindergarteners at Friends School Haverford were busy in their salsa garden Thursday, harvesting their last veggies before winter sets in.

They gathered chives, oregano, mint, Jalapeño's, and banana peppers.

"Here's one that was on the ground, and it's still fresh," says Danny O'Connell.

"We take stuff from the garden and we make pizza sauce and salsa," said Ella Neuhaus.

The experience offers the students an opportunity to re-connect with nature.

"We hope the lessons that begin in kindergarten carry through each year that follows," said teacher Ann Ward.

The third graders have created an egg cooperative, and are managing egg-laying hens.

"Our chickens are friendly," says Imran Loudini. "They follow us 3rd graders through the whole school and it's just fun to take care of them."

They sell the eggs to classmates and the community for $3.00 a half dozen, and each student is part of the distribution process, and each has a decision-making role.

"It's very enjoyable doing it, and it helps you think about what's happening in the real world and where food really comes from," said Emma Strawbridge.

The 3rd graders donate their profits from their eggs to Heifer International, which gives families around the world the opportunity to care for hens and other animals for their own food and for income.

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