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The Class 3 students of Roland Edwards Primary School involved in the vegetable garden project.

Roland Edwards Primary students growing their own veggies

The vegetable garden project at Roland Edwards Primary School is one to be admired.

Teacher, Dominique Jordan, has for the past two years been sharing her love of gardening with her students.

“I am promoting organic gardening,” Jordan told The Barbados Advocate during a recent visit to the St Peter school garden.

“The students involved in the garden project are in Class 3, but I have been working with them from Class 2... I found that they had a lot of excess energy and I wanted to find an activity that would help them to burn off that energy. The children are in the garden almost every day and they love being there.”

In addition to recognising that gardening is a healthy, fun activity for children, Jordan is encouraging her students develop new skills and learn about science and nature from growing their own food.

“In life, we know that we aren’t going to have all doctors, lawyers, accountants – we are going to have some gardeners. Therefore, I wanted to share my love with them, that they will be able to have this skill, which they can even make into a career,” she pointed out.

“I have one student who started to grow lettuce at home and was giving them away to persons in his neighbourhood. He really has a love for gardening already, so I explained to him that he can also start selling them.”

The students have harvested spinach, eggplants, cucumbers, hot peppers, sweet peppers, radish, beets, Chinese cabbage, romaine lettuce and heirloom tomatoes. However, Jordan indicated that they are yet to enjoy the tomatoes because of continuous thief. “The tomatoes are always being stolen. Only the tomatoes, my students haven’t gotten one,” she stressed.

“However, persons within the community really assist the children. Also, when we harvest our vegetables, the staff purchases them and we currently have an order of romaine lettuce for Jordan’s supermarket.”

During Agrofest, the class won first prize in the Shade Gardening. The students also entered the Recipe Competition of the Ministry of Agriculture – Grow well, Eat well, Live well (GEL) programme – making beetroot and spinach cookies.

“We used the beets and spinach from our garden. This is also a healthy snack alternative for children who are anaemic. Spinach and beets are vegetables that children tend not to eat but my students loved the cookies,” she said. (TL)

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