Spring has arrived, and local children are busy with their school garden projects. Everything from planting zinnias to decorating outdoor furniture, to harvesting collards, the children are engaging in the excitement of watching things grow, and seeing the fruits of their labor.
I took a look around at a few of the Walton County schools to see what they were up to, and there is much more than mulch getting spread around!
Here is a look at three local garden projects:
Martha Smith’s 4th grade gardeners
At Freeport Elementary School, there is quite a bit of activity going on in the garden.
Ms. Smith’s 4th grade class was busy painting outdoor furniture, watering and checking on the growth of their new sprouts.
Their planting started early in the year, and to date, have Brussels sprouts, sweet peas, corn, sunflowers and pole beans, all planted from seed. They also have planted potatoes, zinnias and pansies.
The class also has new benches and tables. With the raw materials and fabrication donated by parents, the children decorated the new outdoor furniture by hand-painting pastel flowers on them.
Sandi Miller’s 3rd grade gardeners
At Butler Elementary, the students started planting seeds in February for their spring garden. The class also has a garden in the fall months.
Along with help from volunteers Dr. Tommy Fairweather and Diane Woodard, Sandi Miller’s class has quite a variety of plants in their garden. Some of this year’s plants include sunflowers, radishes, pole beans, tomatoes, cucumbers and magic African beans.
The children pair up and share small garden plots. To decorate their garden areas, the children constructed Easter Bunny poles made from cans with Styrofoam heads. It is a colorful added touch to their project, as each of the cans have the student’s name on them.
Snookie Parrish’s 6th grade gardeners
Master gardener Snookie Parrish and her class are just finishing up their winter garden. They have, or are in the process of harvesting collards, broccoli, cauliflower, kale, cabbage, spinach, lettuce and radishes.
The students also study weather, soil conditions and plant biology. One student described to me in detail what happens when a plant flowers and goes to seed.
The Seaside Neighborhood School’s garden is diverse and prolific. There is a large variety of herbs and fruits, including strawberries, blueberries and a lemon tree.
On this particular day, the collards were ready, and I was gifted with freshly cut leaves to bring home!