Inspired by First Lady Michelle Obama’s vocal support of organic food gardens in schools in an effort to fight childhood obesity, a San Bruno landscaping company is donating organic fruit plants and vegetable beds to the district’s eight elementary schools.
Marsetti, Inc., made the first stop on what it’s calling its “garden tour” on Saturday at on Saturday.
The gardens will include strawberries, varieties of local lettuces, peppers, pumpkins, squash, and local heirloom tomatoes.
Ladybugs and praying mantises will be introduced to the gardens in lieu of potentially harmful pesticides.
El Crystal Principal Skip Johnson said the garden complements the school’s composting program.
“It’s a great thing for the kids,” Johnson said.
“How many kids see where food comes from?
“They buy it at Safeway or they or they buy it at wherever they go. This way they can grow it, harvest it and eat it and plus it’s good from them to get their hands dirty and learn the difference between soil and dirt.”
Johnson said all students at his school from kindergarten through sixth grade will be involved in the gardening process. He said the students will use digital microscopes to learn more about the soil their food grows in.
A Marsetti press release said the purpose of bringing the gardens to local schools is to “educate children about healthful, locally grown fruit and vegetables at a time when obesity and diabetes have become a national concern.”
Shortly after her husband’s inauguration in 2009, First Lady Obama recruited her daughter Malia’s fifth grade classmates from a Washington D.C. elementary school to help plant an organic garden outside the White House. She said at the time that “(our) hope is that through children, they will begin to educate their families and that will, in turn, begin to educate our communities.”