SJCS Edible Garden
The Seattle Jewish Community School is a small elementary school in north Seattle. Of the many values the school holds, connection to community, respect for the environment, and sense of social responsibility are high on the list. In the summer of 2013 we built and planted an edible garden with help from volunteers, staff, and community members and funds raised by two graduating classes and local business donations. Our hope is that the garden will not only provide education on topics such as health, nutrition, and plant biology, but that it will also be used to teach our students its values as we discuss eco-friendly gardening practices, organic food production, where food comes from, and how communities access fresh food.
The garden, so far, consists of six raised beds, one per class, a bed for parent volunteers, and a worm bin. We have planted fruit, vegetables, herbs, and flowers and begun raising worms. The beautiful cedar beds and plants have softened the school's concrete landscape and have been a source of pride for the community.
In its first three months, we harvested for the holiday Sukkot, provided greens to enhance school lunches, and sent families home with Shabbat salads. As the curriculum develops, there will be seasonal activities including planting seeds and transplanting seedlings, weeding, assessing plant health and looking for pests, watering, maintaining the worm bin, staking up peas and beans, refreshing the soil, adding fertilizer and mulch, and discussing how to handle abundant harvests. The gardens will be grown organically using natural pest control and organic soils and amendments.
We will continue to need seeds and plant starts, curriculum material, and we hope to install a water wise irrigation system.
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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