Greetings from the Fairview Garden
Our garden was established at this site several years ago. Since then, we have moved the garden twice - replanting at our temporary site during the construction of the new Fairview, and then starting anew here at our beautiful, new school. The contractor provided us with a fenced area including raised beds, seating, a watering system and shed, and a variety of fruit trees. The apples and citrus trees have produced good crops already. We were able to transplant herbs, artichokes, strawberries and geraniums from the previous gardens and have added lots of seasonal veggies, as well. We are currently growing winter crops including lettuce, kale, chard, sugar snap peas, potatoes, broccoli, carrots, cauliflower and Brussels sprouts.
My students are learning how to plant and care for the crops, as well as expanding their food horizons and learning about nutritional content. It is amazing and encouraging to see how much the kids enjoy not only the produce, but also the outdoor work experience. As we weed and water, we regularly see hummingbirds, butterflies, and bumble bees. We draw plant parts, watch pollinators at work, and talk about soil, plant processes, and ecology.
The garden provides a unique opportunity to teach and relate to students in a non- classroom setting. The work instills a sense of self- worth and connection with the Earth that carries over into the classroom and beyond. I encourage other schools to establish or re-plant their school gardens. The rewards are many.
Lisa Gumpel - teacher of the deaf and hard of hearing, grades 4,5,6.
Fairview Elementary School