School garden offers opportunities


Photos by Jasmine Monda and Maddie Walker After the work put in dring the summer and sping to ensure the success of the garden, the warm weather crops, like tomatoes and peppers are ready to be harvested.

The school garden is looking to expand and add new crops, with the hope of new help from students.
Originally, the garden started because administrative assistant to the principal Lori DeFiore, loved to garden at home, and when the idea of the garden was brought up, she began to make a plan with staff and students. She began the garden initially outside, and even after planting them all, there were some problems of animals taking the crops. The garden was then moved to the courtyard, where she could replant them and the plants could be safe and also get the appropriate amount of sunlight. Right now the garden has a good amount of crops, but not a lot. So, recently, the staff was looking to expand within the courtyard.
Some new crops will be added to the garden during the cold season. DeFiore is looking to expand from there and add new crops for their respective seasons.
“So, right now, if I had help, we could do cold weather plants. So there are plants that do well in the spring and in the fall, but not so much in the winter. So like your lettuces, those are kind of cold weather plants. So we could grow some spinach and kale and leaf lettuce, all that kind of a thing. Tomatoes are typically grown in the summer. We could do some research and can find some plants to grow and probably start them now,” DeFiore said.
In order to expand the garden and grow all the things it can, help is really needed. Students can volunteer their time in the summer or in school to help out with weeding, or with just harvesting. The school will eventually have a “build day.” Anyone with any interest of joining the garden should email or go see Lori DeFiore in the main office.
“If you are in NHS or Link Crew, I’m sure you could get your service hours that way, any student could. It’s just a question of time. Again, we would want to do it after school, that would be perfect. If we wanted to do it on a Saturday, we could do that. In the summer, we could talk about it because some people could just get their service hours in the summer and just be done with it,” DeFiore said.
The garden’s crops are grown in plant raisers and buckets to avoid weeds. The planters are made from wood planks and half barrels. Fertilizer and soil for specific crops are placed in the barrels and buckets, and eventually crops will be grown in hay. Senior Zach Ravn helped with the start of the garden from an Eagle Project for service hours/credit. He went around trying to get donations of fertilizer and garden materials, and after getting some, he began the work on the plant raisers and the buckets for growing.
“So we worked together over the next few months and helped the idea of a series of raised planters made out of 55 gallon drums cut in half and filled with soil so we could grow stuff in that,” Ravn said.
Helping out with the garden help students to get their service hours in and maybe even learn something. If any student has any questions to help the garden grow, contact Ms. DeFiore and find out more.