"We just finished planting lettuce and carrots and radishes."
The Fayetteville School District has teamed up with FoodCorps, an organization working to teach kids about what healthy food is, where it comes from, and working to place locally grown products on students' plates.
"Without the healthy food you know, we'd just be eating stuff covered in like grease and fat and fried foods," said 6th grader Cora Ferguson.
Sophia Gill works with FoodCorps, and wants fresh food from the Holt Middle School garden to make the short trip to the cafeteria.
"By allowing the kids to touch the soil and have a part in the entire process of growing a plant, they're invested in it and so they're more likely to try it and if a kid tries something, they're more likely to like it."
Gill is tending to the garden with students every Wednesday after school, and is hoping to expand the garden project. So far, students are digging the idea.
"You kind of look at your plate and it's like, I helped make this or this. It's kind of fun... I like to get a salad and fruit everyday at lunch just so, you know, I won't be getting ice cream and chips and stuff."" said Ferguson.
And the cafeteria salad bar is stealing the spotlight.
"During lunch time there's a lot of people who try to race to the salad bar to get the fruits and veggies that they want.... If we didn't have the salad bar it would just be pizza pretty much," said 6th grader Haley Roman.
Gill said with these new healthy food options, teachers are seeing a difference in the classroom.
"Calorie dense, nutrient poor food just isn't good for the brain. It gives these kids a sugar high and then a crash. They're more rowdy and just can't focus."
Now, students seem more focused and are eager to learn. Eating healthy is a nationwide movement and students in Northwest Arkansas recognize the greater impact.
"It's good that they're trying to have kids eat healthier foods... Since there are lots of obese children in the United States, it's kind of trying to reduce that percentage."
So Fayetteville Schools are planting seeds for healthier futures.
"It's a really great hands-on way for kids to apply the principals that they learn."
Gill said gardening is also a great physical activity. Students are out raking and digging in the soil, working up a sweat. So although they might not really realize they are getting a workout, the students are getting those benefits.
Right now, Gill is working in the garden with students Tuesdays and Thursdays from 7:00 to 7:30 a.m., and Wednesdays after school from 3:00 to 4:00 p.m., but is working to expand those hours.
Allyson Mrachek is also a FoodCorps member in the Fayetteville School District, and she will be dedicated to expanding the Farm to School program throughout the district.
In addition, the schools are working to host more cooking classes for students and their parents. The classes will show how to cook with healthy foods at home, so kids can apply their new healthy eating habits at the dinner table.
Gill wanted to give a special thank you to Nitron Industries and Heirloom Soils, for donating compost to make the garden possible.