School Garden Update – May 2010

Our garden advisor, Kim Patnode, has been meeting with the TMS Community Service Arts class to help prepare for the outdoor school garden.  In February and March, 2010, she helped them select and order seeds and supplies, and she also showed them how to plant seedlings.  Each student took home a flat of seeds and agreed to act as a “seed parent,” doing their best to ensure the seeds germinated into successful seedlings.  Kim shared her e-mail with all these “seed parents” so the students could communicate with her if they had questions or concerns about appropriate care for the plants.  Students have kept in communication with Kim during March and April, with a plan to bring the seed flats back to school after April vacation so the growth can continue in the school greenhouse building.

After testing our soil,  we developed a list of needed soil amendments.  Local mill owner, Barry Carver, donated enough cedar lumber to construct the first of the eight planned raised beds, and Tim O’Connor, THS Industrial Arts teacher, worked with his students to build the first raised bed frame.  In collaboration with 4H, an all-day training was scheduled to bring TMS and THS students together to learn about effective collaboration and leadership.  This event was held on April 23rd, the Friday of April vacation.  In the afternoon, participants spent the afternoon hours working together on the garden.  Local landscaper, Bruce Korhonen, volunteered his time and services to till the area of the garden, then students worked together to install the first raised bed of the “G.O.T. Farms?” school garden.  After soil preparation, students planted spinach, lettuce, radishes and peas. The remaining seven raised beds will be constructed during the second annual “contractor’s day” at Telstar, with the materials coming again from donations.