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Successful First School Garden

By
Tara Bellefontaine,   Henry P Clough
Play:
Topics:
Access to Healthy Foods,  Teamwork

This year we started our very own garden. With the help of local business, a grant from Stop and Shop, and a lot of devoted community members, our garden was a success. Classrooms planted tomato, pepper, spinach, kale, broccoli, and lettuce from seeds. When the plants were ready the classes planted them in our six-bed garden. Classes were randomly chosen to water the garden daily. Lettuce filled our salad bar in the spring. During the summer, families volunteered their time and watered and weeded our garden. When harvesting the vegetables, the families would bring them to the town senior center. When school began in September, classes resumed helping with the garden. Two morning enrichment classes were formed as well. Our garden supplied over 40 pounds of tomatoes, 20 pounds of green peppers, and countless harvests of kale, parsley, broccoli, and basil. As our garden comes to an end, we will start planning next year's garden. Who knew how much fun a school garden could be?

How did students and adults work together as a team?

Adults helped provide support to the students when planting and caring for the delicate plants. Once established in the garden, the school nurse would randomly chose students and work in the garden with them watering, harvesting, and educating together.

How do you plan to make this Play last during the school year and beyond?

The school garden started off with a generous grant from Stop and Shop. All the supplies to sustain the garden were purchased at that point. Working with local business/community members will ensure that the garden continues for years to come.