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Manhasset schools plant organic gardens
Manhasset students have acquired a green thumb. Recently, children in grades K-12 broke ground at Munsey Park School, Shelter Rock School and the Secondary School for a special garden project and outdoor classroom called Planet Manhasset.
The idea of organic gardening at the schools came from the Manhasset School District's SCA (their version of a PTA), and the school board in hopes that the students will learn about safe, sustainable gardening practices while also experiencing the joy of growing and eating fresh vegetable and herbs. The schools can incorporate the garden into their curriculum and give the students a firsthand account on how food is grown.
Planet Manhasset will oversee the garden, but volunteers, parents and students will maintain it. This planting season will include tomatoes, herbs, zucchini, cucumbers, beans and peppers. While they haven't established a relationship with the school's cafeteria, the Nutrition Club will use the produce and some of the sports teams are hoping to make sauce with the tomatoes and basil for their "pasta nights."
The schools are also partnering with Project Share, a Manhasset School program which serves the neediest in the community, to donate produce to them as it's available.
"I'm so happy we have gardens at our schools," said Mary Classi, a fifth-grader at Munsey Park School and a Junior Girl Scout in Troop 500. "We have made stationary with our own artwork on it that has a garden theme to sell and raise money for the gardens. It's so much fun to plant with my friends."
Alice Donnelly, an 11th-grader at Manhasset High School adds: "My favorite part about the garden project was creating a 3-D model of the gardens on Google Sketchup," she said. "I learned how to find measurements of a garden site when it's an irregular shape and create a model, using those measurements. I also enjoyed helping with the weeding and turning the soil."