MAMARONECK, N.Y. – Kobe Sekhatme has picked fresh veggies from his grandmother’s yard in Minnesota in the past, but Tuesday he picked some that he and his classmates planted themselves at Mamaroneck Avenue School and used them to make salad wraps.
Students in all grades picked lettuce, herbs and edible flowers Monday and Tuesday for the third annual Salad Celebration. Before entering the garden, created in spring 2009 thanks to a grant from the Rye YMCA, all students pledged to “pick only what they will eat and try something new”.
“We were able to plant in several beds of the planters and they are all picking from the food that they grew just a few months ago,” Sekhatme’s teacher Christine Luciano said.
Sekhatme recently moved from New York City and is new in the school. Luciano said his classmates were, “so excited to tell him about what he was about to experience because they remember doing this last year.”
After every student has enjoyed the fruits – and lettuce – of their labor, the student council will pick, wash and bag the remaining lettuce, which will be delivered to the Larchmont-Mamaroneck Food Pantry.
This year, the event also included a herb sale to benefit Carson Daly’s initiative to get a garden in every school.
The outgoing fifth-grade class will then plant root vegetables and winter squash in the Community Garden, which will grow during the summer and harvested in the fall by the incoming kindergarteners.
The Community Garden was started 12 years ago by a now retired pre-kindergarten teacher, Susan Longo. The $3,000 Rye YMCA grant allowed the school to buy raised beds, soil and supplies. It was expanded to 20 raised beds and the salad sampling from two grades to the entire school, thanks to funds donated by the MAS PTA.
“Next year we hope to start establishing an understanding of seasonality through various plantings throughout the year,” said Alli Margoshes, of the MAS PTA Garden Committee.