Preschool students at Sheridan Hills Elementary School are learning all about gardening by actually…gardening!

Joanne Ewart, who teaches preschool at Sheridan Hills, wanted to educate her students about plants and how food is grown.  Ewart and other preschool teachers, and the preschool children, have developed three raised gardens and recently added a butterfly garden.

“We added plants to attract a variety of butterflies,” said Ewart.

Ian Wolinsky, a master gardener, worked with the kids and the teachers to show the students how to maintain plants and harvest their produce.

“We have also had a lot of family involvement through family activity days,” added Ewart. “I want to teach kids where their food comes from.”

Ewart began the effort to build the vegetable garden last year.

“We have a variety of lettuce, mint, rosemary, parsley, tomatoes, carrots, beets, kale, arugula and rosemary. We used starter plants and also seeds,” said Ewart, adding that “We have the best tasting arugula.”

Through their work with the gardens, and working with the University of Florida Broward Extension Family Nutrition program, the students are learning about the importance of nutrition and eating a variety of healthy foods. Representatives of the program come to Sheridan Hills and teach the children about the basics of nutrition.

Ewart has entered the garden project into the Fairchild Challenge, run by Miami’s Fairchild Tropical Botanic Gardens.