School Bulletin: Investing in fresh foods

School Bulletin: Investing in fresh foods

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MILWAUKEE (CBS 58) -- Good things are growing at the Oak Creek High School – 9th Grade Center as a passionate teacher turns students into budding gardeners and chefs. 

“I don’t know what was in the water, but these kids have been seasoning like champs,” Carly Joseph, a family and consumer sciences teacher, says. 

This school year, Joseph asked administrators to approve an investment in a hydroponic garden. It’s something the other high school building has in its greenhouse. However, Joseph says her new garden is much cooler. She and a few of her students set up the vertical towers and planted various herbs in the pods. With careful watering and monitoring on an iPad, the classes are now seeing the first fruits of their labor and will be able to harvest soon. 

“The thing just keeps on growing so I’ll cut it off and it will just keep producing, which is so nice,” Joseph says. “If we take a whole clipping off, I have five other pods to keep going.” 

Joseph says she will dry some herbs to keep on hand in her classroom. She says this investment will save her around $70 per semester and now the students can pack a flavor punch in their dishes. It’s something this group of kids has been craving. 

“They just love playing with spices, and they do such a good job,” Joseph says – adding she’s blessed to have such eager students this year. “I probably have four or five kids growing plants at home right now, and they send my pictures.” 

In addition to gardening, Joseph’s students also learn kitchen safety through ‘whodunit’ labs, in which the objective is to find out which household hazard was responsible for the untimely and fictional death of school staff members. Joseph says the students also get childcare lessons using raw eggs, and they learn how to budget for various living scenarios after graduation. All are popular projects, Joseph says, but the cooking and new hydroponic garden really has this group of ninth graders engaged. 

“This is what real food can taste like,” Joseph says. 

If you know a remarkable teacher, student or school making a difference in your community – contact CBS 58 to be featured in the next school bulletin. 

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