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Bethel School Children Harvest Fall Gardens

Article Published: Oct. 13, 2011 | Modified: Oct. 13, 2011
Bethel School Children Harvest Fall Gardens

Margie Mansure shows students from Bethel Elementary School how to harvest vegetables.

Photo submitted

First-, second- and third-grade classrooms at Bethel School held tasting parties, featuring fresh veggies from gardens planted the third week of August.

Giggles prevailed, while funny-shaped radishes were pulled from the ground. Cabbage, Swiss chard, lettuce and arugula were carefully cut.

After washing hands and vegetables, the children tore the leaves of the greens into bite-sized pieces. The smell of garlic permeated the classroom as the greens were stir-fried.

We planted, watered, harvested and then prepared the cool weather crops for tasting, and the favorites were … cabbage and Swiss chard. More than 75 percent of the children loved the flavor of greens.

People who eat merely three to five cups each week of greens have been found to have a lower incidence of a variety of cancers, including lung, colon, breast, ovarian and bladder. What a great taste to cultivate early on!

Children experience the delicious flavor of fresh vegetables and learn about nutrition through gardening. Additionally, creative teachers are able to integrate the wonder and enthusiasm captured by the garden and the outside environment into many subject areas.

Here is the recipe for the greens that I stir-fried using Swiss chard and cabbage. Kale, spinach and other cooking greens are also yummy prepared this way.

Stir-fried Greens with Garlic

8 cups coarsely chopped or torn cooking greens
3 cloves garlic, minced
3 tablespoons olive oil

Heat olive oil over medium heat in large skillet.
Add garlic and cook until blonde.
Add greens and stir continuously until softened to desired tenderness.
Salt to taste.

Margie Mansure, M.S., R.D. is a registered dietitian/nutritionist and extension agent with N.C. Cooperative Extension. She offers personalized classes to improve the health of citizens in Watauga County through worksites, schools and community groups. To contact Margie, email or call (828) 264-3061.

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