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GR1_1850 (2100x1391)-2It wasn’t even St. Patrick’s Day when Mack-Littleton families, alumni, and neighbors gathered on Sunday, March 6th for a Community Salad and to celebrate green-a greenhouse bursting with organic lettuces, a group of seventh and eighth graders inspired to grow and provide fresh food for their school, and a conversation about why sustainable eating is so important. The students shared how, with the help of

science and math teacher, Mrs. Weems, they formed a greenhouse team, taking on the necessary every-day tasks, regularly watering, planting, nurturing, and last fall, planting salad greens whose harvest, and bi-weekly sales have yielded funds to make their greenhouse self-sustaining and more varied with cucumbers, carrots, tomatoes, squash, peas, cilantro, basil and sunflowers.
Dan Asher, Culinary Director of farm to table restaurant Root Down as well as Linger and Ophelia’s, was so impressed with the greenhouse team and their fellow Middle Years students a few months ago during a field trip, that he accepted their invitation to speak about sustainable eating at the Community Salad. For thirty minutes, Dan spoke to a rapt audience, from kindergartners to grandparents. He described sustainable eating as lowering food waste (an estimated 40% of food in this country ends up in the trash), learning more about where and how our food comes to us, treating each other and the environment with kindness. Sustainability is this beautiful circle, Dan told us, within which we can live joyful, healthy and responsible lives.
The event ended with everyone sharing a wonderful salad together: greenhouse greens, supplemented by salad fixin’s from MAD Greens, and homemade salad dressings.

What’s next? Mack-Littleton’s greenhouse team has big plans.

Their latest dream is to turn the greenhouse into a hydroponic and/or aquaponic system, a symbiotic environment in which aquatic animals provide nutrients for cultivating plants in water. Inspired by their study of smart villages, including Machu Picchu, they and their fellow students in design class plan to expand their arable land by terracing a hill outside the greenhouse. Their long-term goal is to inspire all students at Mack-Littleton to go green by getting their hands dirty.
-Diane Dunne, Mack-Littleton Head of School