Harvest and Soup Days
“It’s fun to do something for the school that everyone can enjoy.”
Harvest Day and Soup Day are all-school traditions at Meadow Pond Elementary. As the fall celebrations build on students' work from the previous spring, they actively connect the whole school to the rhythm of the seasons.
Each spring, Garden Club members led by Meadow Pond Elementary teachers Keli Mazzoni and Jackie Kovatch plant corn, potatoes, celery, butternut squash, tomato, carrot, Swiss chard, and bean seeds in the school's greenhouse. The club cares for the plants for the next two months, making sure that they get water and nutrients, until they are ready to be transplanted to the garden. "In June, each student has the opportunity to get their hands dirty and plant a part of the soup," said Margie Corsello, a gardening consultant who works with all three Katonah-Lewisboro elementary schools. "Students plant the seedlings as well as additional seeds in the garden. They learn a little bit about the vegetable that they are planting as well as how to plant the specific seed or seedling."
“It’s fun to do something for the school that everyone can enjoy," said a fifth grader who looks forward to joining the Garden Club in the spring.
The garden is a learning lab
On Harvest Day, PTO Garden Chair Jennifer Gordon and other parent volunteers work alongside Corsello to help student dig potatoes, pick beans and rip Swiss chard and prepare them for the soup by chopping, peeling or shredding. "The process of planting a seed, learning which part of a plant gets eaten, preparing it to be eaten, and then eating it allows students to experience food in a very personal way," said Carolann Castellano, principal of Meadow Pond Elementary. "Harvest Day and Soup Day foster a sense of community and are enjoyed by all."
Soup Day Conversation
On Soup Day, Gabrielle, Sophy, Madison, Ava, Charlotte, Kiera, and Elyce sat together in the cafeteria, chatting over the homemade vegetable soup. They and the other fifth graders had a long view of Harvest and Soup Days. They knew that kindergarteners and first graders had picked tomatoes and pulled carrots . The students also had various recollections of being in second, third, and fourth grade and harvesting Swiss chard, kale, potatoes, squash and corn. Just yesterday, they had pulled beans and chopped potatoes.
“The soup tastes better than last year,” said Gabrielle. “They’re always improving it,” said Sophy. “This is my third bowl," said Charlotte. “I might have a garden when I grow up,” said Elyse. "I can harvest it and eat it.”