Spring finally came this year to Haldane’s Garden, sprouting flowers like tulip, allium, crocus, forsythia, hellebore, columbine, iris and peony. Lettuce, spinach, pea, scallion, asparagus and radish were also early garden edibles.
Not only did the plants take off, so did the garden’s growing space, with thanks to classes for planning, constructing, and painting two new raised beds. Some sixth graders also singlehandedly planted Dr. Mark Villanti’s Sweetbay Magnolia (Magnolia virginiana) donated by the PTA. Sixth grade also helped man the garden’s Health Fairtable, showcasing their greenhouse-grown seedlings.
The addition of Farmer in the Classroom, a.k.a. Carolyn Llewellyn, to Haldane’s Farm to School program gets more kids into the garden tasting more vegetables like beets, parsnips, carrots, and sweet potatoes. Students saw these plants growing in the garden, sampled different varieties, learned about the cultural and culinary histories of these crops, and ate them in different forms. They loved Llewellyn’s signature blueberry-spinach power smoothie.
The garden committee is looking to partner with other area gardens (public, private or school) and non-profit organizations for ideas, collaboration, workshops, etc., to help support student inquiry in school gardens by sharing plants, information, and resources.
Photo courtesy of Haldane Garden Committee