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New Diana high school students grow produce for school's cafeteria

Agriculture students at New Diana High School not only are learning about growing food, they’re also discovering the value of giving their harvest to the community. The students grow vegetables in a greenhouse production class then donate them to the school’s cafeteria.

Ag teacher Callie Faul said the idea came out of a conversation with the principal earlier in the school year. While the students mainly supply lettuce, they also have been able to grow and donate some cherry tomatoes, she said.

New Diana ISD Child Nutrition Director Toni Druschke said the cafeteria is using lettuce with other materials to make salads. She said the cafeteria gets 5 to 10 pounds of lettuce a week. Faul said the students, such as junior McKenna Echols, work in the greenhouse every day. “I enjoy just going out there,” McKenna said. “I like being outside, and it’s something I’ve never done before, I’ve never gotten to grow plants and vegetables and flowers, so I like learning that.”

The flowers also help sophomore Allie Sims. She said she is part of a team that takes part in horticulture contests to identify plants, and the plants in the greenhouse are helping her prepare for the contest.

Junior Ani’Yah Bell said she enjoys the work because she gets to help her school. “I really enjoy being able to say I help out our school by being able to add stuff to our lunches,” she said. “I think it’s fun to get to participate and get behind stuff and learn about the workers, too.”
Ani’Yah said she has never grown vegetables before, so the process is new to her.

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