An outdoor classroom in rural Ohio County is teaching children where their food comes from and how to grow it themselves.
Beaver Dam Elementary School is the first school in the state to have a garden on school grounds. Kindergarten teacher Becky Gaither helped start the garden project. She says students learn the value of hard work by maintaining the garden and they get to enjoy the harvest.
"Just this past week, some grades harvested cherry tomatoes and herbs," Gaither remarked. "They made pizzas in their classrooms and the students did the vegetable preparation themselves, washing and slicing and dicing."
Kentucky Agriculture Commissioner James Comer traveled to Beaver Dam Elementary on Thursday to recognize the school as having the state’s first certified “Ready, Set, Grow” garden. Comer said he hopes the concept will expand statewide.
"A lot of times we have communities where kids think their chicken comes from the drive-thru window at McDonald's and their milk comes from the grocery store," Comer stated. "They don't realize it comes from farms and when they have that lack of knowledge they don't have an appreciation for farmers or agriculture."
The raised garden beds feature herbs, tomatoes, peppers, eggplant, and watermelons, as well as shrubs and flowers. The effort is funded through donations from businesses and individuals.