The School Garden

May 3rd, 2011 § 3 comments

Happy Bean

Early last spring, through a local educational grant, I helped students, teachers, parents and administrators establish a vegetable garden at our small grade school.  Permanent above- and below-ground fencing surrounds our 25’ x 40’ garden to guard it from hungry critters.

MulchingWe designed and installed an underground high-efficiency drip irrigation system to water our 9 rectangular wood-framed raised beds.  Following garden construction, we all helped weed the garden beds, plant seeds, transplant seedlings, maintain the beds and harvest the veggies.

Preparing bedsOur small gardening program provides benefits that reach well beyond the garden gate.  In addition to enhancing the classroom curriculum, the program inspires personal and social responsibility.  It nurtures community spirit, common purpose, and cultural appreciation by building bridges among students, school staff, and local organizations.

Many handsKids learn from maintaining the garden throughout the year: weeding, thinning, fertilizing, mulching, composting, monitoring pests and diseases, and harvesting.  Kids gain a sense of ownership and accomplishment and a willingness to try new foods.  As well, they obtain life skills.

Planting herbsThe kids experience a deeper understanding of natural systems and become better stewards of the Earth by designing, cultivating, and harvesting with their own hands.  Our small garden helps teach an environmental ethic, helps demystify the concept of food production, and helps get kids really dirty.

Garden handsThis week I am busy dirtying many small hands—preparing the beds and planting lettuce, radishes and sugar snap peas.

 

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§ 3 Responses to The School Garden"

  • AMY says:

    This is SOOOOO AWESOME! I hope to do something like this for our kiddos school someday!

    • Marcie says:

      Thanks, Amy. Starting up our second spring season. So many of the kids have never planted anything before. Such a great experience for all of us. Helping plants and people grow. So glad you’re checking in. I just love your tutorials–and beautiful photography.

  • This looks like a great program. School gardens are finally being viewed as an important component in a child’s education.

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