Harrisburg Middle School's Delta Garden is taking off

HARRISBURG, AR (KAIT) - A local elementary school is taking the classroom outside.

The Delta Garden Study has begun in Harrisburg and is giving students the green thumb.

Harrisburg Middle School's Delta Garden Study started earlier this summer and is one of five in the state of Arkansas.

Twice a week, students take the science class outdoors to learn how to grow plants.

Carrots, cabbage, cauliflower and broccoli are just some of the vegetables being grown by the students.

The garden is maintained by the kids and includes a chicken coop, a compost pile, and a lesson area.

The kids are enjoying the veggies from the garden and already have names chosen for the chickens.

The faculty are also raving about how much their students are learning.

Garden Project Specialist Ryan Norman says this knowledge is reaching the kids early, and they will likely adopt healthy eating habits.

"They've been clamoring to get out here. They've been seeing what's going on through the classroom windows. They've been chomping at the bit to get out here with us. And I think they had a really good first week."

Norman is surprised how quickly the students have taken to the garden.

Radishes and basil have been the favorites of the class so far this season.

in this outdoor classroom, the kids are engaged physically while increasing their fruit and vegetable intake.

"They're taking ownership of the garden. They're engaged, they're interested. They want to be a part of this as much as they can. They want more time out here. This isn't just play time. We're out here doing science lessons."

Harrisburg Middle School is hosting "dig day" on October 14th, where students take part in expanding the garden by two-thirds.

For more information, click "Like" on their Facebook page here.

Copyright 2011 KAIT.  All rights reserved.