San Bruno landscaping company Marsetti gives students gardens 

click to enlarge Growing gardeners: San Bruno landscaper Marsetti is offering free gardening materials to local schools. (Courtesy photo) - GROWING GARDENERS: SAN BRUNO LANDSCAPER MARSETTI IS OFFERING FREE GARDENING MATERIALS TO LOCAL SCHOOLS. (COURTESY PHOTO)
  • Growing gardeners: San Bruno landscaper Marsetti is offering free gardening materials to local schools. (Courtesy photo)
  • Growing gardeners: San Bruno landscaper Marsetti is offering free gardening materials to local schools. (Courtesy photo)

San Bruno students can now create gardens on campus, free of charge.

Marsetti, a San Bruno landscaping company, is offering free vegetable beds, plants and gardening advice to the city’s eight public schools.

So far, the company has committed 16 beds worth about $325 each to three schools.

“It’s a hefty donation, but one which we hope will be beneficial to the city of San Bruno, where we have worked for 30 years,” said Joey Oliva, Marsetti’s marketing director.

The company said the purpose is to educate children about healthful, locally grown fruits and vegetables at a time when obesity and diabetes have become a national concern.

Marsetti will help schools with maintenance, but tending to the plots will be up to the kids, Oliva said.

Kit Cosgriff, principal of Allen Elementary School, said she is excited to see students eventually share meals put together from the garden and learn that “food doesn’t come from Safeway.”

The beds will become part of Allen Elementary’s after-school and life-sciences curriculum, and they have already spawned a gardening club, Cosgriff said.

At El Crystal Elementary School, kids will not only eat from and tend to the garden, but they also will use digital microscopes to “look at creepy things in the soil,” said Principal Skip Johnson.

It also will help kids feel at home.

“You know, STAR scores, that’s one measure of a school, but kids have to have something that attracts them to schools,” Johnson said. “Having a garden gives them a sense of belonging.”

nkyriakou@sfexaminer.com

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