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Harvest Day at Huffman Elementary yields donation to Bean's Cafe

6th graders Huffman

Sixth grade students at Huffman Elementary School harvest potatoes from the school garden beds. The potatoes will be donated to Bean's Cafe.



It’s harvest day at Huffman Elementary School. For 20 years, the elementary school, with the support of the Huffman community, has lovingly maintained garden beds of potatoes that get harvested each fall and donated to Bean's Café.


On Friday, Sept. 23, students in two sixth grade classrooms at Huffman Elementary hovered over the garden beds, eagerly pulling potatoes, sorting, then running back for more.


“We are teaching children the most valuable lesson- the power of being a giver and helping others,” said 4th grade teacher Steven Carrol.

Carrol 4th grade Huffman Elementary School Teacher Steven Carrol helps students dig up potatoes in the school garden.


Carrol is one of the original organizers of the event that has grown into a tradition the students participate in each fall and spring. “This is the last harvest for these sixth graders. In the spring they will plant seed potatoes for the new kindergartners so that they can harvest all the years they are here.”


On this cool fall morning, students are surrounded by Huffman PTO members and school volunteers, many who have been part of the tradition since it started.


“Harvest day is my favorite day of the year,” said Gail Hoefler, a plant scientist and Huffman Elementary School potato harvest volunteer. “I love it; I look forward to it. The kids get so excited and it’s just pure joy.”


Huffman Elementary School volunteer Gail Hoefler says she has been helping with the school garden since it started 20 years ago.



Hoefler said she’s volunteered to help with the harvest since it began. At the time, her own children attended Huffman and she stayed with the program.


Over the years, the number of garden boxes has grown with the help of parent volunteers, Girl Scout, and Eagle Scout groups. There are currently 19 beds, and Hoefler said in years past they have harvested nearly 2,000 pounds of potatoes and carrots to donate to Bean's Café.  


Lisa Kopec Miller