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RES Community Connection Garden

Vision

Our vision is that every student will be growing their own food. We will start with small classroom growing kits and move to the larger greenhouse to fulfill this mission. Our teachers are keen to start and our greater community will be helping in the greenhouse. We will start with the aim of growing food for a school-wide salad day, and continue growing to fulfill our dream of conducting a student-led Farmers Market for our school and community. We want to build their entrepreneurship and agricultural skills, so they will appreciate and maybe continue growing in the future for their families and community.
They will be able to see what is grown, and what is needed to sustain growth. Through journaling, recording, and measuring, students will be experimenting with different growing mediums.

Action

We bought seven grow lights for teachers around the school (mostly classrooms without window access). The students and teachers filled up the gardening trays and picked out seeds from our greenhouse. They added the seeds and now things are starting to grow. The students are watering and caring for the plants in their classroom. The next step, which is happening soon, is transplanting the veggies/flowers to the greenhouse. We haven’t had enough time to eat any of our products but they are growing really fast. We have Sweet Peas, Snow Peas, Dill, Lemon Basil, Basil, Sun Flowers, Green and Red Peppers, Broccoli, and Tomatoes. We will have all our veggies for our salad day, and even some herbs. The students have been so involved that we created a Gardening Club. We had 120 applicants, so we will hopefully have enough time to do two different clubs before the end of the year. Pretty amazing, all classes are growing (some without lights/some plants just in the windows of the classrooms), we have teachers doing experiments, different mediums and different light options. Sometime in the future, hopefully before Summer, we want to start the farmers market and have students selling the vegetables/flowers they grew. Truly grateful to be a part of helping students learn about food and hopefully grow for their own kids in the future.

Reflection & Celebration

Reflection: I made sure to set up all the lights, so the lights were ready to go for teachers and students. Our goal is to eventually have lights for all the teachers in our school. We currently have 7 but we have 25 teachers next year (21 this year), so I will be looking for more in the future. It has really been great experimenting with our Geothermal greenhouse and the LED lights. All of our Marigolds in the greenhouse didn’t grow for some reason, but the ones under the LED lights did. So, we have all seedlings under the lights and when they get to be about 2 inches in height, we will bring the trays out to the greenhouse and start new seedlings. Hopefully, we can keep the vegetables/fruit/flowers growing in different stages for our school salads.
Celebration: I want to celebrate our new Gardening Club, which we started two weeks ago, and is held every Wednesday. The more students and teachers saw the LED lights in the classrooms, I started getting questions about how they could get involved. So, we started the Gardening Club and my colleague started a Cooking Program (eventually they will use the produce we grow with the LED lights and greenhouse). You have no idea how excited I am when sharing my knowledge of gardening and the importance of healthy eating. Thank you so much from our students and staff for this opportunity!

Links

Check out the video we created about our project! 

3. Good Health and Well-Being
4. Quality Education
2. Zero Hunger
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