LOOKS BRIGHT: Work benefits food bank

Published 11:45 pm Friday, October 24, 2014

By Monique Roth

NORCO — In a few short months, dozens of students at Norco Elementary School will reap the rewards of their time and labor, all of which have been invested for the greater good of their community.

Earlier this month, 18 student members of the 4-H Club at NES worked on a vegetable garden, planting beets, lettuce, carrots, broccoli and cabbage that will be harvested in January.

The students, many of whom were accompanied by their parents, planted vegetables in a garden located behind the school so they can sell them at the German Coast Farmer’s Market in Destrehan to raise money for the club and help local groups.

“The garden was made by using many different tools to clean up the soil and to plant vegetables,” Caroline Rome, a fourth grade NES student and 4-H reporter, said. “Most of all, we achieved this goal by working together.”

Lisa Bourg, the 4-H leader at NES, said she was impressed so many students showed up on a Saturday to establish the garden.

“The whole purpose is to give back to the community,” Bourg said, adding in the process the students get to learn a lot about the process of gardening and have a “hands-on learning experience.”

The garden is completely student-driven and maintained by the 4-H club, Bourg said, with the members in charge of pulling weeds and other chores to keep the garden in good shape for the upcoming harvest.

“I learned a lot about gardening and the environment,” Caroline said of the planting process.

Emma Loup, a fifth grader at NES and president of the 4-H club, said the students and some parents will travel to the farmer’s market weekly to sell the produce their garden yields, and proceeds will be donated to the Norco Food Bank.

The NES 4-H Club is no stranger to the Norco Food Bank. Caroline said club members recently held a food drive and were able to assemble bags to feed 10 families. She said additional food donated from the drive was donated to Norco Food Bank.

Club member Layne Stoute, a fourth grader at NES, said the club is active in the St. Charles Parish community and plans to sing Christmas carols and make Christmas cards for elderly residents in the parish.

He is also excited about engaging the NES student body in the 4-H club’s annual school project, which will be a recycling program this year.

Layne said he loves being involved in the club and learning about different things. He added he can’t wait to harvest the produce.

Bourg added in the spring the club always hosts a drive for personal items to ship to soldiers overseas.

“Giving back to the community makes me feel good,” Emma said with a smile. “And it’s all fun.”