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Sam Gonsalves, 6, left, a student at Alamo Elementary School, is shown a small carrot by Sharon Dodson during the school's "Spring has Sprung" planting session in Alamo, Calif., on Friday, March 15, 2013. Alamo School's teaching garden was created by Dodson, a nurse for the San Ramon Valley Unified School District, who worked with the community, parents, Danville's Sloat Garden Center and students to help build the garden. (Doug Duran/Staff)

ALAMO -- Carrots, flowers and other leafy goodness is growing on the grounds at Alamo Elementary School these days.

The school's new teaching garden -- once a vacant lot littered with bits of an old irrigation system -- has become a place for hard work, fun and education as students learn about what it takes to plant, cultivate and harvest from the earth.

On Friday, students helped Sharon Dodson, a nurse for the San Ramon Valley school district who coordinated the garden project, with planting the latest crops.

It was Dodson's vision for the field that started the ball rolling last summer, with parents, local businesses, students, youth groups and others jumping in to lend a hand. Together they built planting beds, birdhouses, row markers and more. They prepared the soil and tidied the site up.

Sharon Dodson, center, shows Alamo Elementary School students an edible flower during the school’s "Spring has Sprung" planting session in
Sharon Dodson, center, shows Alamo Elementary School students an edible flower during the school's "Spring has Sprung" planting session in Alamo, Calif., on Friday, March 15, 2013. Alamo School's teaching garden was created by Dodson, a nurse for the San Ramon Valley Unified School District, who worked with the community, parents, Danville's Sloat Garden Center and students to help build the garden. (Doug Duran/Staff)

And now the garden is preparing to pay them off for all the hard work, with tasty produce and a place for teachers to take the students for a little outdoor education.

-- Kelly Gust, Staff