What is the buzz all about at Maple Avenue Elementary School in Claremont, NH? The pollinator garden! Students in Mrs. Tetu’s 4th grade class learned about various pollinators and the critical roll they fulfill. These junior gardeners researched the parts of the plant and the optimal plants for our region. Beebalm, coneflower, phlox, and more were added to an existing garden by the students to form a pollen paradise. – Skylar Tetu, Teacher, Maple Avenue, School, Claremont, NH
Hartland Elementary School is very pleased and excited to show what we have been doing with our mini-grant from UVFTS. We came up with the idea of starting a hydroponics garden and quickly realized that to get it started we really needed to do a lot of research. We have started off small, but since we now have the set up, we are looking forward to making it bigger each year. The students were in charge of the lighting set up, the filtration system, the chemical balance and the planting of the seeds. At this point we have some very healthy looking lettuce and our other vegetables are going to need time to mature, but they are looking very healthy and we look forward to the day when we can pick and eat. This has been a really fun endeavor for all of my students, K-8. – Mary Bojko, Health Educator, Hartland Elementary School, Hartland, VT
At the Ledyard Charter School our classroom greenhouse has been a great success. A variety of students have been able to chip in and help with the chores and planning and learn about self sufficiency and food security through season extension techniques. This is the second year of our greenhouse program and we are refining our craft. This year we have been able to start over 50 tomato plants from seed starting at the end of February! Many other veggies, including various herbs and flowers have started to come up and decorate our school and improve the air quality in our little classroom.
Recently we took all of the involved students on a field trip to the permaculture educational homestead, D Acres. At D Acres Josh Trout taught our students alternative techniques used in permaculture to make our landscape work for us. We are very appreciative of everything the Farm to School mini-grant has allowed us to do and we hope to grow this tradition further in the years to come. – Matt Stuart, Teacher, Ledyard Charter School, Lebanon, NH
The PAWS (Program After Weathersfield School) program has taken this UVFTS grant opportunity to learn more about the edible flowering plants in our area. We planted nasturtium and pansies and decided upon a light dressing to serve with a salad of mixed greens either from our school garden or from an area farm. The students in PAWS have learned that certain flowers are edible and have to be carefully cared for in order to adhere to safe eating practices. They have drawn and colored the various flowers they learned about and have enjoyed the planting process. We had some trouble with our greenhouse getting too hot and dry over a weekend, but we replanted and got our flowers figured out! Preparing for the Farm-to-School Showcase has been fun for our PAWS. And we have gotten our PAWS nice and dirty working with soil and plants and learning about all the things flowers have to offer. – Jessica Sivret, Teacher, Weathersfield Elementary School, Weathersfield, VT