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Dallas Students Learn To Be City Farmers

(credit: KTVT/KTXA) Elizabeth Dinh
Elizabeth joined CBS 11 News from Seattle's KOMO-TV in December 2...
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DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) - Farming in the city is not just a trend. For elementary school students in northeast Dallas, it is a way of life. That is because a small, organic farm is the heart of Moss Haven Elementary School, and it is where teachers are helping kids grow both in and out of the classroom.

CBS 11 News reporter Elizabeth Dinh spent a day with the group of smart students to learn what it takes to be a farmer.

“You’re just going to dig up the mulch,” a pint-sized boy explained to Dinh. “We’re going to put it in this barrel and then we’re going to dump it in some of the beds.”

Later, a young girl pumped water for the plants. “When it rains,” she explained, “instead of having to pay for our own water, we just use the water from the rain.”

Dinh asked, “Is it possible to water too much?”

“Yes, because the plant can get flooded and start dying,” the student, turned tiny teacher, said.

Saving their uneaten food for composting has becoming habit for these boys and girls. “A good compost should be anywhere between 120 degrees to 160 degrees,” one girl said.

Some kids said that their favorite job on the farm is feeding the school’s chickens and Polish hens.

According to a group of young ladies, regularly cutting off the so-called “dead heads” from plants will help keep them alive and healthy for a longer time. “There are a lot of these,” Dinh said. “And my knees are getting tired. Is that normal?”

“Uh, yes.”

Being at the school’s farm can be both fun and inspiring for the students. “I eat more vegetables and fruit, and I just stay more active,” said sixth-grader Micaela Graetz. “I like to be out here and be outside more often.”

The children — and their reporter guest — feel a sense of pride when picking fresh banana peppers to eat. After all, just 18 months ago, this lush garden was mostly seedlings. Now, it is a farm that feeds life lessons. “It was really cool how, in one year, so many plants grew,” added fourth-grader Paul Velez. “And it’s still growing!”

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