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10-8-19 — These Students Know How a Garden Grows

Oct. 8, 2019 ~ Members of the Heritage Elementary Horticulture Club are learning there’s nothing like planting some seeds, watching a plant grow, and harvesting the vegetables or flowers it produces. These fifth-graders realize it’s not easy to grow vegetables, but it can be fun going through the learning process.

In the second year of Horticulture Club, sponsors Jennifer Enochs, Jay Parsons and Nicole Carlson have seen a tremendous growth in their membership roster.

“Last year, we only had 11 fifth-graders sign up,” Enochs said. This year more than 20 students are testing out their green thumbs.

“I think the excitement of seeing the garden grow, and especially the opportunity to eat the produce, has doubled our membership!” Enochs added. Club members grew cucumbers, cantaloupes, watermelons, tomatoes, onions and potatoes in the vegetable section. Beautiful flowers including sunflowers, marigolds and zinnias also grew from seeds. During a recent fall planting session, lettuce and radish seeds were carefully planted in rows.

“It’s so great to see how excited the students across the entire school are when they see the garden!” Enochs said. “A kindergartner even told me we had ‘pickles’ in our garden.”

All of the members have learned new terms such as “dead head” and “spoon” as they participate in the growing cycle from planting to harvesting.

“We have talked to students about saving seed, enjoying the harvest, and planting seeds,” Parsons added.

“Students in the club told me they love it because we get to eat,” Enochs said.

In addition to eating the vegetables they grow, students find uses for the flowers and flower seeds. A pinecone smeared with peanut butter and rolled in sunflower seeds makes a great bird feeder.

None of this would have been possible without some hard work by members of the district’s grounds maintenance crew who built a new raised planting bed next to Enochs’ second-grade classroom window.

“We want to thank the grounds maintenance crew for building our raised vegetable and flower garden! We had a few raised beds by the playground years ago and planned to use those to start our Horticulture Club,” Enochs said. “When the Operations Service Center team was at our school to install new playground equipment, they noticed how dated our raised beds were and built us a brand new one!”