Turnips are just one of the crops the kids planted in their garden — which has turned out to be an even bigger lesson — behind Thatcher Hall on the Darlington campus.

Dunn said he has always enjoyed growing vegetables and helped out during the summer at Oakdale Farms.

Elisabeth Lawson’s fourth graders at Darlington Lower School have been learning about gardening during one of the exploratory sessions.

Warm weather and rain made everything grow super big over the Christmas break. In addition to the turnips, the kids planted arugula, mustard greens, stir-fry mix, radishes and spinach.

"Good winter-growing stuff," Lawson said. "We came back two days ago and saw we had way more than we could eat, so the kids said, ‘Let's have a farmers market and donate the money to charity.’”

Wednesday morning, the market in Lawson's class was set up by the kids who invited parents, grandparents and friends to come and, just like most other farmers markets, they were virtually sold out by 9 a.m. Now, the kids are trying to determine which charity to donate the funds to.

The gardening program is part of the exploratory program that allows students to learn important things that are not always a part of the regular curriculum.

"It does tie into the curriculum because they are using math right now (to make change at the register) and they used leadership skills out there in the garden. Obviously science, too," Lawson said. "Not technical academic stuff, but very important life skills."

Jay Watters, 10, said he has enjoyed planting.

"I also learned how you eat them and how good they are. I love them, especially the turnips," Watters said. 

He said he didn't have any greens on New Year's Day, but did really like a salad from the school garden before Christmas break.