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What’s Growing on in the STEM Garden?

How Does Our STEM Garden Grow? Very Well, Thanks to Our Captain Planet Summer Grant

We have had a wonderfully productive summer in the Avondale STEM Garden. Receiving the Captain Planet Project Giving Gardens Grant has inspired Mr. Jacobs (retired Kindergarten), Ms. Siddiqui (retired Gifted) and I to spend our Monday and Wednesday mornings in the garden. With the grant we received food plants, soil, supplies, a watering station and a wealth knowledge from Edna Lora, Project Giving Gardens Coordinator.

Currently growing is a variety of tomatoes and peppers, squash, cucumbers, bush beans, sweet potatoes, arugula, eggplant and okra. We have basil, mint, chives and rosemary in our herb bed and beautiful flowering pollinators that make a colorful bouquet. The blackberries and strawberries are sweet and ready for picking.

There was a desire for more grow area so the tree was pruned to bring in more sunlight, which then inspired Mr. Jacobs to build two more planters. A cage for the strawberry bed was also crafted – less treats for the birds but more for us!

In the works is an area for mound gardening that will demonstrate how some Native Americans planted the three sisters (beans, corn and squash), a corn and sunflower patch, a pizza garden and lots of informational signage.

As we look forward to the fall, our harvest will be available to our student families and community. Lesson plans for each grade level will be available for teachers to fully utilize our AES STEM garden.

It has been a bit of hot and hard work, but so enjoyable and well worth it!

Loraine Langston
Avondale Elementary
3rd Grade Teacher

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