As new information comes out almost every week about how our food is grown and prepared, it’s become even more imperative that we understand what goes into the process of farm to table. This process is why Abby deSmet, a P.E. and health teacher at Dayton, decided to incorporate the community garden into her Health II class.

Dayton’s Community Garden

A few years ago, after recognizing it as a perfect learning opportunity for her student, deSmet took over the management of the community garden.

Last year, deSmet set her students up with the task of getting the garden into growing condition for the upcoming planting season. The garden had fallen into disarray and was in need of maintenance. Her students jumped at the task and turned the garden into planting-ready condition over the course of a semester.

Over the summer, deSmet taught a health class. The final assignment for the class was for the students to cook a dish using only the food they found in the garden and to share it with the rest of the school. Her students turned out some amazing results, such as a spaghetti red sauce.

Cherry Tomatoes at Dayton’s community garden

The community garden has been a valuable resource for deSmet’s Health II class.  By going through the gardening process, students have become more aware of what goes into their food and have learned the importance of eating healthier. Some students have even discovered new interests. DeSmit noted several of her students who normally struggle in her class became leaders in the garden.

As the garden continues to grow, deSmet hopes it will become a centerpiece for not only the school but the Dayton as well.