TEMPLE TERRACE, Fla. - Greco Middle School in Temple Terrace isn’t just cultivating vegetables. They're tilling students’ curiosity.
"These four beds here were originally the beginning of our garden,” said Greco Middle School Assistant Principal Angel Hernandez.
When you grow a garden, you need sun, seeds and soil.
"When you come from an urban environment, these type of spaces are not available,” said Hernandez.
My favorite part was just going outside, going to the garden,” said 8th grader Justice Goff.
Steven Hardy, Mohammed Zouhri and Justice Goff are eigth graders who’s curriculum was a little juicier this year.
"This time it felt like, it felt like I made the tomatoes, that we ate. We created them together,” said Zouhri.
They are just some of the students who are part of Greco’s new agricultural and culinary classes, growing, picking and cooking produce—farm-to-school lunch table.
"We're teaching healthy food choices. What you can do with this in a public school is also teach science, mathematics, language arts, growing a garden, harvesting a garden, and preparing food, requires reading. It requires science. It requires mathematics,” said Curtis.
Greco’s garden is bursting with okra, eggplant, peppers and sweet potatoes—also blooming, stronger community to school ties.
"You have gardeners out here gardening during the day. Then you have students coming through here going for their track classes so it creates a real awareness of the students,” said President ‘The Community Garden’ Elizabeth Lieb.
It’s a school yard harvest yielding more than expected.
"We are the Temple Terrace Middle School. We want to be able to give back to the community as much as they give to us, so it's really allowing us to grow that relationship,” said Hernandez.