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Huntington school gets high tunnel for student gardens

Herald-Dispatch photo by Lori Wolfe Workers from the West Virginia Department of Agriculture, West Virginia State University and contractors build a high tunnel greenhouse Monday, Oct. 5, 2015 at Huntington East Middle School.
Herald-Dispatch photo by Lori Wolfe
Workers from the West Virginia Department of Agriculture, West Virginia State University and contractors build a high tunnel greenhouse Monday, Oct. 5, 2015 at Huntington East Middle School.

HUNTINGTON, W.Va. — If the grass really is greener on the other side, then that “other side” might just be located at Huntington East Middle School.

That’s where crews from the West Virginia Department of Agriculture and West Virginia State University spent Monday constructing a high tunnel-style greenhouse in which students will plant crops that eventually will end up on their lunch trays, according to Rhonda McCoy, food services director for Cabell County Schools.

The school district was awarded a grant from the U.S. Department of Agriculture for about $9,300 to construct the greenhouse about one week ago, and the whole process couldn’t get started fast enough for McCoy.

 “It’s happened quickly for us,” McCoy said Monday as crews adhered plastic to the aluminum structure on the southwest side of the school. “We’re proud that Huntington East can have a high tunnel to raise produce for the school cafeteria now.”

About 24 garden beds are ready to be placed in the greenhouse, and certain beds are assigned to students in certain classes, who will be responsible for caring for the plants in them as well as studying the soil to ensure it is the right quality…

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