After being awarded a Farm Bureau grant, the students at New Horizons Elementary School got to work cultivating their school garden. After three months of planning, designing, planting and watering, the school’s garden is now producing herbs, flowers and vegetables.
The partnership with the Farm Bureau includes the contribution of Dr. Richard Raid, who has volunteered to support the student’s efforts by supplying tools, wood for the raised beds and compost for the soil. The students have been excited to watch the plants grow and work diligently each week to weed, water and tend to the garden. The students have successfully grown carrots, lettuce, radishes, green peppers, zucchini, green beans, sunflowers and herbs. Recently, students also planted flowers and milkweed to attract bees and butterflies.
The teachers and students have enjoyed the gardening process and have even harvested the vegetables for students to sample. The garden has opened up dialogue among the school’s faculty in an effort to increase STEM activities through hands-on projects that have real-world applications. Students involved in the garden have also completed research projects with multimedia presentations to share their work with others.
The school is looking to expand its efforts throughout the school and also begin to work toward the distinction of being recognized as one of the school district’s Green Schools of Excellence. The teachers are proud of the students who participated in the garden and look forward to expanding what is already a successful beginning to school gardening.