Please describe your garden, is it raised beds, in the ground, do you have a greenhouse?
Last spring, we converted an area formerly used as a parking lot into a fenced garden. With the assistance from the grant, Special Areas #2, and Prairie Land School Division, gravel was removed, loads of topsoil brought in, and a fence put up. Tanks and a series of hoses were used to create a viable watering system for the garden.
Every student in the school planted seeds in the garden,or helped transplant seedlings into the garden. During the summer, local families took turns weeding and watering the garden. Once school resumed, students started to harvest the vegetables. Junior and Senior High students then processed the vegetables into pickles, pickled carrots, homemade spaghetti sauce, cucumber jelly, and chocolate zucchini muffins. Fresh vegetables were also available for purchase to the public. On October 22, the processed/canned products will be sold in a Harvest Market. Junior and Senior High classes have participated in Agricultural classes, and learned how to process vegetables in classes. We have started a "Farm to Table and Beyond" initiative in our school that also includes the use of a large greenhouse on school grounds to further educate students on the importance of growing our own food in a sustainable manner. Through this initiative, the school is hosting 4 events for the public where student food products are sold, and/or a meal is provided.
Elementary students planted their own rows in the garden and were involved in harvesting the vegetables. They learned about the the life cycle and components of a seed, and how to properly harvest a garden.
What are your future plans for the school garden?
In conjunction with the greenhouse built on school grounds, an outdoor learning space will be created for students to access more agricultural/horticultural learning opportunities. Students will plan what should be planted in the garden so seeds can be ordered by the spring. The vegetables planted in the garden will be tailored towards public events and/or meals planned for the entire year. Herbs and various types of lettuce will be planted this upcoming spring to make herb infused oils and vinegars, as well as salad dressings, for sale, and to host a meal where people can create their own salads using lettuce from the garden. Students will continue to be involved in all aspects of planning, planting, maintenance and harvesting.
Any words of encouragement/tips for a school starting a school garden?
Thank you so much for this grant! It has helped tremendously in allowing our small rural school to make this vision come to fruition!
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