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Mamaroneck Students Open Greenhouse And Learning Center

Students at Hommocks Middle School tended to their harvest at the Greenhouse ribbon-cutting event.
Students at Hommocks Middle School tended to their harvest at the Greenhouse ribbon-cutting event. Photo Credit: Debbie Manetta

MAMARONECK, N.Y. -- Mamaroneck students officially opened the Hommocks Middle School Greenhouse at a ribbon-cutting event Tuesday. The Greenhouse is an interactive learning center where children will be able to actively participate in the national movement toward sustainability and increasing youth awareness of the environment.

Seventh-grade students are harvesting their first crop of baby leaf lettuce to make room to plant new greens, including kale, as well as tomatoes, cucumbers and peppers. Also growing right now in the greenhouse is spinach, romaine, corn mache, cucumbers, basil, parsley, and oregano. At the event, the students took their first taste of the new greens with vinaigrettes and salad dressings they prepared.

The interactive living learning environment will increase the awareness of local, organic, seasonal foods role in the fight against the epidemic of obesity and diabetes stemming from processed food, chemicals and eating the wrong foods. Michelle Obama’s planting of an organic vegetable garden at the White House sent a powerful message of health, sustainability and self-reliance. The Hommocks Greenhouse intends to send the same message.

Through working with the greenhouse, students will learn the important connection between the foods they eat and their sources, an opportunity that they might otherwise never have. While the Greenhouse may not drastically alter the students' eating habits, it will provide them with hands-on experiences with the entire process from planning to planting to growing to harvesting to eating. Not only will they learn where food comes from and the nutritional benefits, they will also acquire the skills needed to sustainably grow fresh organic produce.

The Hommocks Middle School Greenhouse was made possible by Mamaroneck Schools Foundation and a state education grant.

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