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Elementary Students Harvest Sweet Potatoes on Roof of Kansai Int’l - Byproduct of Rooftop Gardening

Elementary Students Harvest Sweet Potatoes on Roof of Kansai Int’l - Byproduct of Rooftop Gardening

Elementary students harvested sweet potatoes from the roof of the passenger terminal building at Kansai International Airport.

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On October 7, local elementary students harvested sweet potatoes from the roof of the passenger terminal building at Kansai International Airport in Izumisano, Osaka Prefecture.

This summer the airport made its first foray into rooftop gardening, a popular way of countering the urban heat island effect. A demonstration test is being conducted with sweet potatoes on the south-side terrace on the passenger terminal's fourth floor. Since the sweet potatoes, born from seeds as a byproduct of the experiment, grew so large, a sweet potato harvest event was put on for the students to learn about the environment.

Eighty-nine second grade students from Tajiri Elementary participated in the event. They dug up the sweet potatoes after hearing the significance and effects of rooftop gardening with the plants. Chefs at Hotel Nikko Kansai Airport then prepared the harvest and served them to the students to taste, while some of the children took them back to school to use in assignments such as drawing sketches and writing essays on the farming experiment.

According to the airport, a variety of plants such as moss are generally used for rooftop gardening, while sweet potatoes are cheap, grow thick and are relatively easy to manage. Kansai International, which aims to be “a people-friendly and environmentally-friendly airport,” plans to further its efforts at rooftop gardening and environmentally-friendly measures in a proactive manner.

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