Staff and students tend the vegetable garden at McManus Middle School, one of several gardens that have been blooming around our schools since the spring. The proceeds benefit the schools and the community. Back row, from left, are secretary Helen Koby, math teacher Christine Miskov, Vice Principal Wayne Happel, science teacher Patricia Klingert, and Principal Peter Fingerlin. In front are incoming sixth-graders Hunter DeGregorio and Adam Johnson, on July 24.
By Gary Miller
Staff and students at McManus Middle School in Linden were working on the school’s vegetable garden on Tuesday, July 24, picking vegetables, tending to plants and putting down mulch.
The garden is funded through a Union County “Kids Dig In” grant. It’s the second year the school has planted the garden, doubling from four beds to eight this year. They are growing kale, tomatoes, eggplant, squash, jalapeños, honeydew, cantaloupe and more.
The produce is donated to needy families at the school first, then to the county’s senior nutrition program at Linden’s John T. Gregorio Recreation Center and a food pantry run by the Linden Interfaith Network for Community Service (LINCS). The grant requires that 30 percent of the produce goes to charity.
“Kids Dig In” gardens are growing at several Linden Public Schools, including School No. 2, School No. 5, School No. 6, and the Academy of Excellence alternative high school.
A garden at School No. 4, in its third year, is funded through the New Jersey Agricultural Society’s Learning Through Gardening grant, which seeks to teach students to make healthier food choices and take better care of their environment, all while making learning more exciting.