Garden Club update 2017-03

“Look…I’m Making A Plant!”

This precious quote from Kindergartner, Levi Anderson, was one of the many delightful comments, gestures and playful learning experiences shared between members and volunteers during both our Jr. and Sr. March S.T.E.M. Garden Club activities. Our theme this month was “Seed Starting”. Each group experimented with making their own nutrient-rich soil by combining regular top soil with a 100% organic seed-starting mixture.  We had plenty of these magical ingredients to go around thanks to a surprise contribution of a few extra bags from the Karlowicz family. Biodegradable peat pots and toilette tissue rolls were then filled to capacity with this compound. Using their fingers or craft sticks, members dug tiny holes for an assortment of vegetable, herb and flower seeds to be gently placed in their cozy new homes. One inventive group thought totally outside the box and custom designed roll-out seed tape using toilette tissue. Another mother-son team prepped a weed ridden bed for removal of these pesky plants once and for all. Everyone was working with one common purpose in mind, getting ready for Spring.

Many of the seeds used were donated through our newly formed partnership with the Sow True Seed organization in North Carolina. “Sow, Germinate, Grow, Pollinate and Save,” are the five intentions that dictate their corporate behavior. The STEM-tastic gardening adventures happening inside and out of the building on these days not only supported their effort but ours as well. These certifiably viable, open pollinated, non-hybrid GMO-FREE, heirloom, organic and traditional seeds represent the best there is…in other words…we got the GOOD stuff baby! It’s no wonder that after just one week of tender loving care by the ASA (after school care) participant’s SPROUTS emerged! We will continue to care for these now delicate seedlings in the greenhouse until our big April: Spring Garden Planting. This also marks a wonderfully progressive first for our S.T.E.M. Garden Clubs as we are transplanting seedlings we grew from seeds with our very own hands.

In addition to the relationship we are fostering with the Sow True Seed organization; we must acknowledge our newly forged partnership with The Home Depot in Decatur and old favorite Bonnie Plants. The Home Depot has donated $200 in community improvement coupons for use towards the purchase of gardening plants and supplies. A meeting is scheduled with Operations Manager-Milia Murdock, over the summer to discuss ongoing contributions throughout the 2017-2018 school year…To Be Continued. Our 3rd Graders received their annual delivery of Bonnie cabbage plants to take home and potentially grow big enough to win a $1000 scholarship. The leftover cabbage plants were generously donated to our school gardens. Third grade ASA participants led the Fourth and Fifth graders in transplanting these hearty greens into our Captain Plant Project Learning Garden. As you can see, happy gardening is an authentic thing at Sagamore Hills Elementary School.