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SEMINAR HELPS STUDENTS, TEACHERS WORK GARDENS INTO SCHOOLS

Jodi Riedel, an agriculture teacher at Wakefield High School, says that even after 11 years, she is always surprised by the “agricultural illiteracy of our youth.”

“It is ridiculous how many of them have never eaten a radish,” Riedel said.Interest in eradicating this type of illiteracy seems to be growing.Last weekend, more than 200 teachers, parents, city planners, town leaders and community activists sacrificed a beautiful spring morning to sit in windowless rooms at the fourth annual Dig In workshop. This year’s theme was “weaving edible landscapes into the fabric of Wake County.” Sessions focused on community gardens, urban agriculture and school gardens.Judging by the lively discussion in the school garden sessions, parents and teachers are anxious for every school to have a garden.

“The school garden is great,” says Sheree Vodicka, director of Advocates for Health in Action, the organization that hosted Dig In. “But unless it gets incorporated into the curriculum, it is a missed opportunity.”

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