School gardening in full bloom at local schools

We all know that fruits and vegetables are good for the body. Local schools, however, are teaching that lesson with a hands-on approach, by way of the school garden.

Just this week, Glen Iris Elementary School in Birmingham unveiled its outdoor classroom. But the school garden has become a popular and healthy trend at other schools too. Teachers say the method has nutritional value, reinforces math and science and teaches social skills such as teamwork.

"They can put their hands on a seed instead of just reading out it in a book," Donna Hill, teacher at Glen Iris, says. "They're super excited. It's hard to keep them on the path because there's so much to see."The garden has sun-dried tomatoes and other produce. The same excitement is rooted in the Creative Montessori School's garden in Homewood too. The school started the garden about five years ago. Students grow sunflowers, basil and other types of fruits and vegetables. But just as teachers bring lessons outside, they say they bring them back into the classroom.

"If it's fall and we're planting pumpkins then we will lessons in the classroom about pumpkins," teacher Julie Danley says.

The garden at Indian Springs School is full with apple trees, peach trees, muscadines and other crop.For eight years, students have seen their produce in the dining hall and labs.

"I show them how to stir fry it, and most of the students had never cooked before and a lot of them had never eaten fresh squash before," teacher Bob Pollard says.