By Tanya Hunt, AmeriCorps Farm to School Coordinator, Wayne County, WV
I should first say that the radishes were successful overall. They did not grow thick, bulbous roots (because of lack of sunlight, I believe), but they all grew leaves. And radish leaves are edible. And I found the white, bulbous icicle radishes at our local food market (The Wild Ramp).
Hard to see what’s going on, but there is one of the white icicle radishes, with some leaves sticking out of the top of Blake and Riley’s radish pot.
So the kindergarten students were able to try the radish leaves that they had grown and the local white icicle radishes I had bought. They had a lot of fun trying them!
One girl is autistic and has struggled with food textures and tastes from the beginning of the school year. She had been intensely watching the radishes grow throughout the past couple weeks. And when it came try to the radish leaves, she tried it with no fear or discomfort. Her teacher was amazed. I was moved. How much could we do to change the kinds of foods children eat if there was an edible schoolyard for every classroom?
On a final note, we received our soil test data back and now know what to put on our ground to make it more suitable for vegetable crops! Students at Buffalo Elementary performed the soil test themselves, while learning about what soil, N, P, and K are, with the help of Mark Buchanan:
My holiday wishes and next steps from here: get our ground plowed up, some low tunnels out, and some kale and lettuce growing!