Harrington Park School has had an active Garden Club since the fall of 2009. The garden was established in the inner courtyard of HP School in the summer of 2009 and Spanish Teacher Ms. Sally Denbeaux continues as the Garden Club Adviser. The Garden Club is active in the spring and fall; this year it continued through the summer months. It is impressive how much the garden has grown and how attractive the courtyard space has become (more in a future posting).
In April twenty students, mostly 4th and 5th graders, started planted lettuce, onions, radishes, spinach, peas and carrots from seeds indoors in an incubator. When the weather permitted, the young plants were transplanted outdoors. Tomato and strawberry seedlings were purchased and planted. The students requested to plant fruits and, with a grant from the Home & School Association, three dwarf apple trees and raspberry bushes were purchased and planted.
In June the HP School Garden Club and Green Club applied for and received a BCUA Environmental Awareness Challenge Grant of $1000, with $500 going to each club. The Garden Club used some of this money to purchase three more fruit trees and the materials for the two new raised beds.
(above photos from 7/27/12 MAS) This year the HSA provided a stipend for a summer garden program. Twelve children met weekly for one hour with Ms. Denbeaux to tend the garden. The plants in the (now) 6 raised garden beds and along the brick walls were watered with water from the two new rain barrels and from a hose. The beds were weeded weekly and the weeds and dead plants were composted. The students picked the ripe produce, shared the bounty with school staff and were able to bring produce home.
From Ms. Denbeaux: “…as the summer winds down… My core garden group this summer was small but dedicated. We planted and picked vegetables and berries and took care of the trees and garden. Mr. Mendello helped us put together two new garden beds and constructed a permanent trellis on one of the beds. I’m looking forward to involving more children as the school year starts. There is plenty to do and I have ideas to implement…we will be enjoying the harvest.” She estimates that over 130 students have learned about gardening with their participation in the Garden Club since its inception in the fall of 2009- how to plant, care for, and harvest vegetables and herbs. The students have planted a variety of produce over the years- and enjoyed tasting it- in many cases trying something for the first time (such as arugula or snow peas).
(more soon on the butterfly garden!)
(< and ^photos MAS; below CBK, 8/22/12)
Strawberries and a watermelon!
The flourishing garden and active Garden Club qualified HP for 10 points towards Sustainable Jersey Certification.