WEE Tigers - Early Education
Farmington Wee Tigers are Growing Big Things
The Farmington Wee Tigers Early Childhood program is growing big things- in their new gardens! Meadowview and Riverview Elementary have both received grants and donations to install a raised bed and vertical trellis garden as well as indoor Tower Gardens, which are aeroponic growing systems.
The Tower Garden is a vertical growing system that is being used in the the preschool classrooms at Meadowview and Riverview. Over 75 students assisted with planting, maintaining and harvesting the produce grown. Students used the harvested lettuce and basil to make mini pizzas and salads for their snacks in the classroom. “I don’t like lettuce, but I really like this!”, one little girl commented as she enthusiastically ate her lettuce salad. Parents were requesting the recipes used because their students wanted to share these new dishes with family at home.
The raised bed garden system was a collaboration between the local Eagle Scouts, A Back Yard Farm gardening company and Early Childhood staff. The Eagle Scouts obtained over $840 in monetary donations and supplies to build the beds. With the expertise from the Back Yard Farm staff, Eagle Scouts and their parents, over 200 volunteer hours were spent planning and installing two raised beds at Meadowview and one at Riverview this past October. “My students want to start planting in the gardens already!” commented a Meadowview teacher. With these gardens, they will have 250 square feet of planting space available. This will provide an outdoor learning space and add a new dimension to their early childhood curriculum. Planting and nutrition education occurred during April and May 2017, and will be expanding during the 2017-2018 school year.
Funding to continue growing and learning in the gardens for future years was generously donated from the Farmington Education Foundation.
This project was partially supported by the Statewide Health Improvement Partnership,
Minnesota Department of Health, and the Dakota County Public Health Department.
The primary focus of this funding is to reduce chronic disease in various community settings,
one being schools through nutrition and physical activity initiatives.