How Does Our Garden GROW?
With the vision and goals of Garden Coordinator, Farigene Villegas, the following projects have been outlined. If you or your family would like to get involved, there is truly something for everyone in the garden!
If one of these garden goals appeals to you, please contact Farigene (firstname.lastname@example.org) and she'll help get you started! There is something to fit any time schedule and you do not need to have a green thumb to help!
- School Wide Composting – We would like to purchase a double barrel rolling composter made to accommodate school wide composting. The kids will be able to turn the composter any time in the garden speeding the decomposition process. They will learn about composting practices, decomposition, and soil. Good compost and soil amendments are expensive, or require volunteers to obtain trucks and take the time to get it. Good compost on site will not only allow kids to see the full cycle of life in the garden, but will save the school money by turning scraps into black gold.
- Garden to Cafeteria Program - We would like to plant a salad garden that can supplement the school cafeteria’s salad bar. It is exciting for children to eat food that have grown and will contribute to a sense of community as children share their hard work with others. This food will also be fresh and organic, an ideal supplement to children’s diets.
- Outdoor Food Prep & Eating Area - We plan to turn an underutilized area of the garden into an inviting outdoor kitchen and eating area. In this area of the garden we plan to include an outdoor sink that will reuse grey water in the garden to teach the children about water conservation. The garden sink will also allow children to practice sanitary measures by properly washing fruits and vegetables they harvest before eating them. We will also purchase thrift store dishes, utensils, and tablecloths to continue the lesson of reuse and recycle and conserving natural resources. Attached to the sink we want to include a food preparation area with storage cabinets below. This will give us much needed storage and provide an area for food prep that is separate from potting and crafting. We plan to purchase or build a solar oven for cooking in the garden, which will again provide lessons in utilizing natural resources as well as science lessons. Additionally, we plan to build a simple shade structure over the garden picnic tables with climbing roses or grapes to provide a pleasant area for the children to sit and eat or engage in garden lessons or crafts.
- Maintain the Butterfly Habitat – Last spring we started a Butterfly & Bee Habitat. This garden is meant to be a permanent garden habitat where children can be caretakers of nature and observe life cycles firsthand. As a habitat, there is a list of requirements and maintenance of the habitat is necessary to ensure it remains relevant to the butterflies and bees. We are currently in the process of obtaining Habitat Certification from the National Wildlife Federation.
- Rolling Planter Boxes – We would like to build several planter boxes on casters that the teachers of Murdock can use at their classrooms. This way they can utilize some growing space when it benefits their lesson plans, but are not responsible for a large area. Additionally, since the planter in on casters and will be at their classroom, they won’t have to worry about sending children to the garden unsupervised to care for the plants, or taking their whole class to the garden.
- Annual Neighborhood Garden Tour – We would like to host an annual Neighborhood Garden Tour each June to benefit the garden. We would invite Murdock families or friends in the school community to place their gardens on the tour. We would be happy for this to become not just a fundraiser, but a celebration of the work of the school garden, a learning opportunity for Murdock families, and a community building event.