The fall has seen many great things happening in the SIS Community Garden. For starters, we entered 5 different vegetables in the Bethlehem Country Fair, and while we went ribbonless, I was very proud of the students for their hard work in getting the veggies fair worthy. I think that the CT Fairs will be impressed with the SIS Community Garden offerings next year!
Towards the end of the summer, I sent an email to my students and was so proud when fifteen showed up the week before school for 2 hours to help me weed the garden and put in a fall planting. We weeded the swiss chard and kale beds, which looks fantastic. We also planted many fall favorites such as radishes, kolibri, carrots, arugula, and gourmet lettuce mix. In addition, we have numerous herbs ready. We will begin selling our crop to the public in early October. Please be sure to check back often for updates.
The largest project of the fall however, has been the construction of the SIS Community Garden Shed. This shed was provided by a generous grant from The Valley Community Foundation. There has always been a plan for the garden to acquire a shed so that the community will better be able to utilize the garden. This dream became a reality when the Valley Foundation accepted my grant proposal for the purchase of a shed kit to be built by the community. Despite the showers and cloudy weather, the day was a complete success. A huge thanks to Mr. Yamnicky for representing the SIS staff and teaching many students some of the basics of carpentry. In addition, a very grateful thank you goes to the dozen parents and 2 dozen students who showed up willing to help and learn.
We worked for 7 hours and in addition to the shed being built, Mr. Saranich tilled out a couple hundred square feet of garden space. This will be used for a corn field, giant sunflowers, perennial plantings, and a strawberry field. Thank you Mr. Maloney for the use of your tiller. In addition, Mrs. Saranich along with many other families planted approximately 200 pots in the hoop house with different varieties of lettuce seeds. If all goes well, this lettuce should last us through the holiday season.
For me, personally this was perhaps the best day in the life of the SIS Community Garden. This is truly what a school community project is all about. It was a great feeling when I took the time to look up from the direction book and see so many students spending their personal time on a Saturday at their school learning, working, and having fun socializing with each other. If you haven't yet seen the garden, It is looking better than ever. Please come and take a look around. Finally, a huge thank you to everyone who was able to help make this a great day.
Happy Gardening -