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Fifth-graders operate garden at Latonia Elementary

Students sell what they grow
Posted at 12:47 AM, Feb 01, 2018
and last updated 2018-02-01 00:47:50-05

LATONIA, Ky. - Fifth-graders get real-life lessons in growing plants and selling them in Bob Runyan's economics class at Latonia Elementary.

Every student has a job to do.

"I keep track of the water temps, the PH levels," says Carsan Hehman as he shows off the garden. "Basil, cilantro, chives, parsley…"

"It's about the bills in here," says Mashya Davis, whose responsibility is marketing and sales.

Jackson Morgan delivers flowers every Wednesday.

"People do it weekly, bi-weekly,” he says.

Welcome to the Latonia Elementary Herbmania and Urban Garden. It's an idea that started about six years ago.

Runyan, the teacher, says the work helps to grow students as well.

"Not only teaching them career skills, but life skills,” Runyan said.  “Being able to speak in public. How to introduce themselves. So it goes all across the board besides what we're doing in the economics part of my class."

Students can be dog-tired by the time they finish their work school.

"It's pretty challenging and hard because you have to take care of everything and it's like taking care of a dog," Hehman said.

The students essentially created their own business selling plants and flowers to teachers throughout the school.  And sales have expanded to local restaurants and businesses like Bard's Burgers & Chili, where the fifth-graders' products are used in the kitchen.

"The main way we really keep it local here is we do work with the elementary school down the street and we do get lettuce from them and some different herbs, which we make a homemade ranch here," said Bard’s owner Jordan Stephenson.

It’s rewarding work, says fifth-grader Mashya Davis.

"It makes me feel like I'm actually helping people and making a change for our community," Davis said.

STAY CONNECTED with the students and the Latonia Elementary Herbmania and Urban Garden on their Facebook page.