2/10/2013 6:01:00 AM Education Photo: Broccoli Buddies
La Senita Elementary School and the University of Arizona Mohave County Cooperative Extension School Gardening Instructional Specialist Nina Brackett have partnered together to bring students a hands-on gardening experience since 2006. That led to an after school gardening program and the club now meets about twice a month. The program has benefited from using funds from after school tax credits. La Senita has a greenhouse and a small garden plot where students keep journals, describing growth, keeping track of measurements, identifying insects, weather damage and disease, and other observations. Participants learn about three growing seasons. These include the spring season, when students grow sugar snap peas, carrots and spinach, and the long summer season, when students grow squash, tomatoes, bell peppers and pumpkins (which are sometimes entered in the Mohave County Fair). The current season is the winter season and students have been growing broccoli plants. Students were able to harvest some broccoli heads and sample the "fruits" of their labors recently. (According to Wikipedia.com, broccoli is a flower head used as a vegetable.) Here, Elizabeth, 10, and Dominic Hartwell, 8, stand inside the greenhouse with broccoli plants. Elizabeth is a gardening club member.