A half-dozen children excitedly tossed soil into a spray-painted tire, burying the roots of a few flowers and a banana plant.
“Grow banana, grow!” they shouted.
For the second year, the N.C. State College of Design’s Natural Learning Initiative and Wake County SmartStart partnered with a half-dozen volunteers from Keller Williams Realty to plant fruits, vegetables and flowers around the playground at ABC Land daycare.
The N.C. State program commissioned 80 volunteers for the day around the county with the intent to prevent obesity and educate children about nutrition through edible gardens.
They aim to fight the 14.5 percent obesity rate among children ages birth to five.
“It’s a new approach to playgrounds,” said ABC Land director Lorraine Dixon. “They’re learning through edible gardens.”
Fifty children ran around the daycare’s backyard, divided by age and activity.
Dixon said that the children will pick the future potatoes, like they pick beans from the trellis annually, to cook and eat them together.
The projects included flowers, small trees, potatoes and a blackberry tunnel. Strawberries and other plants remained from the previous year.