Belvedere Elementary Edible Gardens
The Belvedere Elementary Edible Gardens, started in spring 2012, have enough 4’x8’ raised beds for one pumpkin life-cycle garden and a raised bed for every grade K-5. We grow organic vegetables and herbs and make compost from cafeteria waste (we have tumblers and worm bins). In spring 2013, students led a project to add berry bushes to the edible gardens, but we could use some durable fencing to keep out both deer and stray soccer balls. A dedicated “eco-teacher” provides hands-on science lessons in the garden and works with teachers to tie the existing math, science, social studies, art and language curriculum to the garden. The cafeteria staff has agreed to use any produce the students grow, but our yields have been small and mostly eaten in class harvest parties.
We want to expand our edible garden so that we can grow more food, larger grade levels can have more than one bed, and the preschool (Head Start and special needs students) can garden, too. Given Virginia’s mild winters, we’d also like to extend our growing season: with cold frames, we could garden during the entire school year.
We have three primary garden goals: Bring the curriculum outside; help children learn about healthy food and where it comes from, and combat food insecurity. Belvedere is a Title I school in a highly developed suburb. The students represent 29 countries of origin and speak 31 different languages at home. Many of them don’t get enough to eat at home. The school has arranged with local charities to provide food for these children over the weekend. Over the summer, we’d like to share our expertise and beds with parents who’d like to grow their own food, but don’t have the space and/or knowledge.
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.
Join our mailing list:
Connect with us:
Kitchen Gardeners International
3 Powderhorn Drive,
Scarborough, ME, 04074, USA