Students at Deerfield School in Mountainside planted seeds for their school garden during the third annual Jersey Fresh Farm to School Week.
The kids were joined by Rose Tricario, the food and nutrition director at the state Department of Agriculture.
"Farm to School Week encourages schools to serve healthy, local produce to their students," said Tricario. "School gardens teach students a lot about the hard work it takes to grow our food and gives them a better appreciation for our New Jersey farmers."
The Department of Agriculture’s Jersey Fresh Farm to School Week, held from Sept. 23 to 27, highlights efforts to connect schools with New Jersey farmers to purchase local produce for school meals. It also seeks to teach children where their food comes from by growing it themselves in school gardens.
Elena Bentey, Deerfield School’s life skills teacher, said the third- through fifth-graders were planting the seeds all week in honor of Farm to School Week. The school has five different gardens: pizza, herb, flower, root vegetables and salad.
“The garden is now part of the curriculum teaching students the full cycle, from seed to nurture to harvest to cook and finally eat,” said Bentey.
For more information about the Farm to School Program, visit www.nj.gov/agriculture/divisions/fn/childadult/farm_to_school.html.