Not even a polar vortex could put a freeze on what’s sprouting up in Dennis Lankau’s classroom. Mr. Lankau’s first-grade students have been growing a garden of pea shoots in their classroom at George L. Cooke Elementary School.
Mr. Lankau, who also serves as the advisor for Cooke’s Garden Club, applied for a grant through Sullivan Renaissance to fund the , which helps to extend the school’s farm-to-table initiative through the winter months. Representatives from Sprouting Dreams Farm in Liberty visited the classroom to teach the students how to plant, nurture and grow the shoots indoors. Students also learned about all of the nutrition packed into the six-inch sprouts. The sprouts, which take about a week to reach maturity, are served as a side dish or as a salad topping during lunchtime in the Cooke cafeteria.
When it came time to harvest the first crop, each and every student in Mr. Lankau’s class – even the ones who said they didn’t like peas – gave the pea shoots a try. The approval rating was 100%
“They’re tasty and they make you fit and healthy,” one student said.