Caroline Elementary School Garden – Sustainable Farming and Food Systems Student Capstone Project – by Steve
When I first signed up for this Capstone class in Sustainable Farming and Food Systems Degree I really had no idea what the class was going to consist of, but I am super happy that it is part of my degree. This class makes you go out and do things in society that you might not think about doing on your own. I have always had a deep passion for gardening, teaching kids how to garden and grow their own food, and helping them to understand where their food is coming from.
I decided for my project that I was going to devote my time to Caroline Elementary School and teach some kids what I have learned while helping to restore the raised beds that the third graders plant in every year. I started my time there with a service learning day, where all the kids in the whole school came together and completed projects around the school to make it look better. Some were raking, some were weeding and some were taking wheelbarrows to the compost pile. We all got shirts that said we are needed and nothing could be more truthful than that. We had a great day and a lot got done and at the end of the day we all held hands around the whole school while a drone took our pictures from the sky. Unfortunately the pictures did not turn out all that well.
The next project was to teach the third graders how to plant garlic for spring harvest. Some students had no idea where garlic even came from and certainly did not know how to plant it, but that’s what teaching and learning is all about. The kids had a blast with it, and I had enough time before the snow started flying to get three new raised beds in for the garlic, with 12 more beds to be installed when the snow melts off or in the early spring. We also did a composting case study. In the picture at bottom of the page you can see the new raised beds with garlic in them, and you can also see the compost that was generated from the school.
It was such a joy working with these kids and can’t wait to help out in the spring. Even though it will not be part of a class, I feel like I’m part of the school now. The kids had a ton of fun, and it was so satisfying for me to help and just watch them get involved and be proud of what they have done and are going to continue to do. Please support your local schools in any way that you can, especially when it comes to teaching kids how to be sustainable for their future here on earth. We only have one earth and we need to love and protect it like we do our younger generations. They are our future and if they don’t know how to grow food we might be in for it. Thank you Principal Mary Grover for letting me be involved! Remember WHEREVER YOU ARE GROW SOMETHING!