Auburn School Gardens
In 2010, a Special Education and two Science teachers created the Auburn Middle School Garden to motivate and engage students to learn in a new way. An 8’ by 8’ greenhouse was purchased and assembled by the students with the help of the Tech Lab teacher. Students secured donations for seeds, lumber, soil and grow lights. They researched indigenous plants, started seedlings, tested soil and plotted the garden area, built raised beds and determined a crop rotation. Starting in the spring, and aligning with their ecology unit, students planted organic vegetables and fruits. Over the summer, at-risk students who participate in the Community Learning Center (CLC) program maintained the garden. After harvesting the crop in the fall, fresh produce was provided to the cafeteria and the local food pantry. The garden has become a significant part of the school with two additional teachers joining the project resulting in 130 students participating in this learning experience. Teachers plan integrated curriculum activities; thereby offering learning experiences that allow students to learn skills in the various content areas as they interact with the natural world. Students also engage in problem-solving, analytical thinking and team building as they work together in the garden. As more teachers express an interest in being a part of the garden project, it is necessary to expand the garden and build more raised beds. It is our goal to involve parents and the community in this endeavor. In order to keep the gardens viable in the future, it is essential to have parent and community support. We know from past experience how important it is for parents/community to feel ownership in the garden. As witnessed over the last three years, student investment in the project has been phenomenal with some high school students returning to work in the garden.
KGI is a nonprofit community of over 30,000 people who are growing some of our own food and helping others to do the same.
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Kitchen Gardeners International
3 Powderhorn Drive,
Scarborough, ME, 04074, USA