Students grow their own lunch at Auburndale High School - WAOW - Newsline 9, Wausau News, Weather, Sports

Students grow their own lunch at Auburndale High School

AUBURNDALE (WAOW) -

One thousand miles. That's how far some studies say the average food product travels from the farm to your table.

That's why some area students are considerably shortening that distance. 

It's called the Farm to School program, and it has Auburndale students learning about healthy eating by growing their own food, that heads straight to their cafeteria.

"They're putting the work into making the food that they eat," Auburndale High School student Josh Ertl said.

The Farm to School program started at Auburndale High School last year. Ever since, students have been helping get food from the greenhouse to the cafeteria.

"It's a program that was set up to promote healthy lifestyle and home grown food in school," Auburndale Agriculture Instructor Mark Cournoyer said.

Students are growing everything from lettuce and radishes to apples and apricots, and it all ends up on the cafeteria table.

"We know where our food is coming from, we know that it's coming from our greenhouse, not that it's just coming from a business," Auburndale High School student Jackie Bruch said.

The students say getting to work with their food from the beginning is a rewarding process--from planting to cultivating and harvesting.

"A lot of classes in other areas don't have this kind of stuff. It's all book work. It's nice to be able to come out and do it by hand," Ertl said.

"If we can show them that they can grow something delicious and healthy right here and it being 100 yards away from their cafeteria, I think it's a really cool concept," Cournoyer said.

Those involved say the Farm to School program is just another reason they love their community.

"We have tons of people throughout the school that either live on a farm or work on a farm. There's a lot of people that are involved in agriculture and they enjoy this stuff," Ertl said.

The students say they will harvest lettuce in the next few weeks, and hope to see apples on these trees this summer. 

The Farm to School program is part of the initiative Get Active Wood County, where local schools receive funding for these projects. 

Other participating schools are Wisconsin Rapids, Port Edwards, Pittsville and Marshfield.

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