Students become gardeners thanks to grant program

PELION (WACH) -- Students in dozens of South Carolina schools will be planting and tending school gardens as part of a program designed to encourage students to eat more fruits and vegetables.

Tuesday morning, Midlands elementary students reaped the benefits of a great harvest.

"It seems kind of fun now to eat vegetables because you get to plant them," said student gardener Dalton Bird.

Bird is one of thousands of students who will now have a garden at his school and fresh fruits and vegetables on his lunchroom table, thanks to Farm-to-School grants.

"It's things that some of these kids have never done before," says Tammie Kyzer, "So it's actually quite nice to have a program out here where these kids can see how farming is actually handled.

Tammie Kyzer, a parent on hand Tuesday, was helping out with the farm to school field trip.

Eight weeks ago students planted radishes at the Walter P. Rawl Farms in Pelion and now, they're digging in and pulling out a brighter future.

"It shows them that they can take seeds grow something and then they reap from that. It's good for them they can learn to give back in the community," Kyzer said.

Fifty-two schools across the state will receive $3,000 grants to create more student gardeners.

So far the idea of home grown produce and healthy eating really seems to be taking root.

"Like potato chips they're made from potatoes that grown in the ground," says student gardener Megan Dennis. "But they TMre processed and they have all kinds of salt and all kinds of stuff in it and it's better to just get them out of the ground and wash them and eat them."

Do you think this program will get children thinking about eating healthy at an earlier age? Leave a comment below to weigh in.