MAKING A DIFFERENCE: St. John's Day School - MSNewsNow.com - Jackson, MS

MAKING A DIFFERENCE: St. John's Day School

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St. John's Day School was organized in the 1950's, and is housed in a 100-year-old house in downtown Laurel. Source: WLBT St. John's Day School was organized in the 1950's, and is housed in a 100-year-old house in downtown Laurel. Source: WLBT
This is the second year of the garden, or as they've named it, the incredible edible schoolyard. Source: WLBT This is the second year of the garden, or as they've named it, the incredible edible schoolyard. Source: WLBT
LAUREL, MS (Mississippi News Now) -

St. John's Day School calls it their incredible edible schoolyard. And the idea is it will make a difference in the way the students think of food.

St. John's Day School was organized in the 1950's, and is housed in a 100-year-old house in downtown Laurel.

There is a playground out in the back yard. But there is also something new.

This is the second year of the garden, or as they've named it, the incredible edible schoolyard.

Linda Posey brought the idea of the edible playground back home with her to Laurel after picking it up in the Delta while a chef Viking. One of visiting food experts to Viking was aghast when she saw a food delivery truck at the cafeteria of a nearby school in Greenwood here in what she called, ‘the fertile crescent, the Mississippi Delta.'

It struck Linda that an edible schoolyard, or a garden, could not only supplement the cafeteria food, but is also an excellent tool to teach nutrition, especially here in Mississippi where we are statically last in the nation in nutrition.

 Linda said, "Thirty or 40 years ago this was commonplace, the garden And now it's fast food. And our children, if they can't identify what a vegetable is, they're certainly not going to eat it."

St. John Headmistress Carolyn Stone says a garden like this is in keeping with the era of the house, for one thing.

But she and the other parents who built the garden are hoping it will usher in a new era of nutrition to her students.

"I think that they could learn practically everything we want them to here," said Carolyn. "It certainly has math, science, language applications. But I think it's important for students to know that they can grow their own food, that it does come from the ground and that we have a wonderful climate in Mississippi to do so. But it's been more important than that, even since we've gone to the farmers market. They've gotten this sense of, ‘we're part of the community. We can contribute.' They've learned how to market. They've learned how to sell. It's been wonderful."

So, when they set out a bedding plant or plant a seed, they are harvesting more than just tomatoes and cucumbers and the like.

They are planting seed in the minds of these students of where food comes from. And maybe more programs like the incredible edible garden at St. John's in Laurel will make a difference in the heath of all of our students as they grow older.

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