Students at St. Catherine's Elementary in Halifax got an important lesson in farming Tuesday thanks to their annual Harvest Lunch event.
The students planted 30 different vegetable varieties in the spring in a garden outside of the school.
Over the last few months, they watered, weeded and picked them. Today, they cooked and ate the fruits of their labours.
The menu consisted of a vegetable sauce served on penne pasta and biscuits with a secret ingredient: squash.
The Grade 5 students made the sauce with tomatoes, carrots, onions and garlic all picked from their school's garden.
"We were cutting the onions and everyone was tearing up because of the onions," said student Maren MacDonald.
New to the garden this year was cucamelons, a combination of a cucumber inside a little watermelon.
"You eat them with the skin on," said Grade 5 student Charlotte Harper.
Principal Rosie Bona says the garden allows for plenty of subject material in an outdoor environment.
"It's an integrated program. The curriculum is based around the garden, all the science, math and language arts, they tie it into the garden. They measure the plants, they weigh the tomatoes and then the Grade 5s prepare the meal," she said.
Preparing that massive harvest sauce is no small feat as they had to make enough for the 450 students at the school. A small army of parents volunteered and served the food and washed dishes.
"I like getting kids outside, getting them to learn a bit about food and tasting things they haven't tasted before," explained volunteer Jen Berry, co-chair of the event.
Extra vegetables that weren't used were donated to the Bayers Westwood Family Resource Centre, while leftover pasta was being delivered to Hope Cottage, a Halifax soup kitchen.