For students attending pre-kindergarten, first and second grades at Bains Lower Elementary School in St. Francisville, it has been an exciting fall and winter tending to the school’s new gardens, according to Layne Langley, LSU Agricultural Center nutrition agent for West Feliciana and Livingston parishes.

With the help of Bains teacher Lanya Mayer, the students’ watering and weeding during recess time has paid off, resulting in the harvesting of broccoli, bush beans, kale, lettuce and radishes, Langley said.

During weekly nutrition and gardening programs, Langley and Mayer have provided samples of the vegetables to the students.

“The radishes were sliced and served with ranch dressing, and it was interesting to see the reactions of the students. Many had never tried a radish before,” Langley said. “Some of them even asked for seconds.”

New to the children’s gardens this year was kale. Mayer prepared the vegetable by drizzling the leaves with extra virgin olive oil and salt and roasting the kale in the school’s rolling convection oven in her classroom.

“The result was tasty kale chips,” Langley said. “They loved them so much they not only asked for seconds but thirds.”

Both Langley and Mayer say they are thrilled the gardens have been producing but are even more pleased that the students have been so willing to taste and try what they have grown.

For information about the nutrition and gardening programs at Bains Lower Elementary, call Langley at (225) 635-3614 or email lalangley@agcenter.lsu.edu.