WDC Greenhouse produces first crop, students enjoy fresh lettuce
Wadena-Deer Creek Middle/High School students enjoyed their first taste of fresh produce grown in the school’s greenhouse on Tuesday.
Even though the outdoor thermometer was a chilly 18 below zero, WDC Greenhouse Assistant Ed Lewis was busy harvesting the school’s first crop of lettuce inside the toasty-warm greenhouse.
“Nothing better than growing produce in the winter!” Lewis quipped as he clipped the tender lettuce and gently placed it in a bowl.
Lewis delivered the fresh greens to the WDC Middle/High School cafeteria Tuesday morning, where the staff washed and cleaned the lettuce. At lunch, stainless steel pans filled with the freshly picked lettuce was available to students for the first time in the cafeteria. Students topped their hamburgers with the greens. Unfortunately, not all students got a chance to try the fresh lettuce. The greens were gone after the second of WDC’s three lunch periods.
“It’s great that food we grow in our greenhouse will go straight into our cafeteria,” Lewis said.
The WDC Greenhouse became operational the beginning of December. In addition to lettuce, Lewis and students are helping raise radishes, peas, beans and other greens, which students and staff can look forward to tasting in the near future.
“We should have radishes ready next week,” Lewis said.
The effort to add a greenhouse to WDC Middle/High School’s campus has been a cooperative effort with local, county and statewide organizations. In addition to the Wadena Elks Lodge, other building partners involved included: University of Minnesota Central Region Sustainable Partnership, the Sustainable Farmers Association of Minnesota, Wadena County Public Health/Health-4-Life, Stimulating Economic Progress and Minnesota Valley Irrigation.