Horace Mann Elementary School has a rooftop garden. After leafy vegetables are planted and cared for, students harvest the crops, chop them up and serve them to more than 400 of their peers for lunch.

Jagodnik’s third-floor classroom, which is filled with seedlings and outfitted with a small kitchen, opens directly to the school’s rooftop garden. It’s there where a class of third-graders pick parsley and pak choi from commercial-grade garden towers on Monday mornings.

Architect Michael Marshall designed the rooftop farm, one of several gardens at Horace Mann, during the school’s renovation three years ago.

“The connection to the exterior is not an accident in this design. A lot of these young kids, when they grow up, rooftop gardens are going to be very common as far as sustainability and urban living. Why not prepare them?” Marshall said.

Once the greens are gathered and washed, they’re hand-chopped and thrown into large stainless steel bowls, where they’re tossed in a simple dressing of olive oil, apple cider vinegar, salt and sugar.

This is an autogenerated summary from a published source: In Washington School Gardens Are No Longer A Rarity