Harvesting for the West Cafeteria by TJ Everett, Student Gardener

One of the most special times for me each week is the Sunday night cafeteria harvest. Though it seems simple, it has its own special place in our project. The Sunday night cafeteria harvest symbolizes what our project is about, and what the gardens are grown for - to educate students about where their food comes from by serving it in their cafeteria. And we do just that. One of the things I love to hear is the feedback from the teachers. The phrases, “Those strawberries are amazing!” and “I have never tasted such a good cherry tomato!” are regularly heard compliments during the school year.

The Sunday night cafeteria harvest also exemplifies what a great relationship we have with the cafeteria staff. We have our own keys to the cafeteria and walk-in cooler. They’ve let us use their walk-in cooler all summer.

During the school year, we leave a love note for them every week which begins with the greeting, “My dearest cafeterians,” and then talks about our week, what we harvested for them that day, and that we’re looking forward to writing again. It is then stamped shut using an old-fashioned, red wax seal of the letter G, for garden. It’s purely magical.

TJ is a Growing Food, Growing Health Student Gardener in his third year. This article was originally published in our weekly newsletter for our CSA

TJ and Colin show their love for the heirloom Moon and Stars watermelon, 2011

TJ and Colin show their love for the heirloom Moon and Stars watermelon, 2011 by Lily Siebert


Marilyn Hull 5 years, 9 months ago

So much to like about this post, but my favorite part is about the student gardeners writing a love note to the cafeterians. So sweet.

Karrey Britt 5 years, 9 months ago

Love this post! Thanks TJ for giving a student's perspective on the garden project.

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