Santa Clara County
University of California
Santa Clara County

University of California Cooperative Extension

Grow Your Veggies, Eat Your Veggies!

Teaching the Next Generation of Gardeners and Healthy Eaters at Martial Cottle Park

This spring at Martial Cottle Park of San Jose, overflowing beds of spring veggies were transformed into classrooms, as Santa Clara County UC CalFresh nutrition educators collaborated with UC Master Gardeners to deliver garden-based nutrition and science lessons. In April, May, and June six-second grade classes from four San Jose schools visited Martial Cottle Park and learned about plant life cycles, pollinators and beneficial insects, and the health benefits of garden-grown veggies. Thanks to this collaboration and a grant from the Open Space Authority Measure Q, students got to pick and taste veggies straight from the Master Gardener’s demonstration garden, as well as experience the natural connection between growing fresh veggies and healthy eating. The UCCE Master Gardeners designed the lessons about garden ecology and plant science, in which are linked to national science standards. Through hands-on activities and exploration time in the garden, kids practiced respect for natural ecosystems in the garden, and experienced the curiosity and wonder that creates lifelong learners.

MCP OSA Field Trip 1

Students from Del Roble Elementary examine a plant root system

MCP OSA Field Trip 4a

UC CalFresh Nutrition Educators and UCCE Master Gardeners co-teach a lesson on the health benefits of eating a rainbow of vegetables

MCP OSA Field Trip 2

Modeling insects out of playdough

MCP OSA Field Trip 5

 UCCE Master Gardeners lead kids in a song about garden insects

MCP OSA Field Trip 6

Tasting squash blossoms in the garden

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MCP OSA Field Trip 3

Modeling insects out of playdough

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