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End Zone garden produce makes first appearance in cafeteria

Currently named the Endzone Garden, the Riverside Brookfield High School garden is to be officially named in the days to come with the help of National Honor Society students.

Emily Filec

Currently named the Endzone Garden, the Riverside Brookfield High School garden is to be officially named in the days to come with the help of National Honor Society students.

Emily Filec, Staff Reporter

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After countless amounts of brainstorming, applying for grants, and landscape planning, the Riverside Brookfield High School End Zone Garden is now blossoming with fresh produce and endless opportunities for the RBHS cafeteria. Purchasing and eating locally grown food has become one focus in the push for a ‘green society’. However, living in a suburban area it can be quite difficult, not to mention pricey, to eat in such a way. RBHS is providing an easy and convenient way for students and staff to eat locally grown produce by bringing the garden to the cafeteria.

“There is nothing [standing] between the garden and the kitchen,” said Dawn Ives, the Quest Food Service Director at RBHS.

Throughout the week, Quest has begun serving dishes that integrate freshly picked herbs and vegetables from the End Zone Garden.  The items are gathered from the garden in the morning and used in the cafeteria for lunch. Ives said she is extremely excited to see the implementation of the garden this year. After witnessing the efforts of the teachers who worked tirelessly to establish the garden, Ives praised their hard work.

“Walking in and seeing a bag of vegetables in the morning creates a fun challenge to see where the food will fit in to the recipes that day,” Ives said.

The garden project began in the planning stages in 2009.  A group of teachers, led by English teacher Kathleen Harsy, began discussing how to bring a sustainable garden to RB.  Funding came from a senior gift of the class of 2010 and grants from interested businesses.  The largest grant of $8000 came from Grainger.  While the garden was originally intended to be a rooftop garden, budgeting and safety concerns led the teachers to move the garden to an open plot near the football field.  Ground was broken in November of 2011, the garden was planted in May of 2012, and now the first vegetables are being harvested.

One of the first recipes, incorporating squash and herbs from the End Zone Garden, was the soup of the day. Senior Karen Fucinato bought the squash soup and would buy it again.

“The soup tasted fresh and delicious!” she said.

There are a variety of ways in which the vegetables are used. For example, the cherry tomatoes are included in the salads and several of the herbs are used in the tomato sauces. Though the Fall harvest has begun coming in, the cafeteria could use more. Ives said eventually, if more lettuce, cucumbers, and berries are planted, the different salads can be made exclusively with ingredients grown in the garden. The Riverside Brookfield High School End Zone Garden is blooming with nutrients and off to a zestful start, but there is still room to grow.

1 Comment

One Response to “End Zone garden produce makes first appearance in cafeteria”

  1. Manda Ramsey on September 10th, 2012 8:29 pm

    This is exciting news! Good food = better brain power!

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Free of Bull, Full of Bulldogs
End Zone garden produce makes first appearance in cafeteria