|Student watch as Elwood prepares micro-greens for salad|
|Students prepare salad with micro-greens garnish|
Baton Rouge, La. - Through the “Eradicating Food Deserts Through School Gardens” USDA/NIFA grant, Southern University Ag Center’s Extension Associate, Stephanie Elwood teaches weekly environmental stewardship and empowerment classes at three local schools. The Food Deserts grant is an on-going project at three local Baton Rouge schools: Scotlandville Pre-Engineering Middle School, Scotlandville High, and Southern Laboratory School. More than 80 Baton Rouge youth are educated through this program. Each school has a garden on its campus and the garden is the main focus of the lessons. In addition to hands-on gardening outdoors, innovative growing techniques such as growing micro-greens are being taught to the middle and high school students. Participants at Southern Lab are highlighted with their work in growing micro-greens.
Growing micro-greens is a technique becoming more and more popular in urban farming that includes growing seeds in containers in small spaces and even indoors where adequate light is available. This technique allows students to plant flats or containers with the specific micro-green seeds and to actually consume the micro-greens only two weeks after planting the seeds. Micro-greens are popular in elegant restaurants. Teaching this skill to youth creates a possible opportunity for them to utilize the skill in the future to create a small micro-greens business and sell to local restaurants for garnish or to be put into salads for flavor.
At Southern University Lab. School, Mrs. Carter-Robinson’s 7th grade class has been growing sugar snap pea shoots and a braising greens mix (mustard greens, red mustard, pak choi etc.). The students started their micro-greens two weeks prior to the date they were actually able to consume them in the classroom. They made fresh salads out of cucumber and carrots and garnished the salads with their elegant micro-greens. The cultivation of micro-greens teaches the students an additional entrepreneurial skill, and that healthy foods can be grown anywhere and in a quick and exciting way.
For more information, contact Program Coordinator Tiffany Franklin at 225-771-2775 or firstname.lastname@example.org
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