SB Schools Garden Update

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Thursday July 12, 2012

This is the FIRST year that there are gardens at all 5 schools in our district.

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With the help of two SLAM (Student Leadership Advisory Meeting) groups of 15 ninth graders and their senior peer leaders, planting in the SBHS garden, “Rebel Roots” was underway for the 2012 growing season. The crew of about 35 students, 1 UVM Extension Master Gardener Intern, 2 SBHS teachers, and the Farm-to-School coordinator, worked hard on Freshman Community Service Day (5/21) to plant vegetables in the 25’ x 100’ garden space. Over 400 vegetable starts were transplanted—partially purchased and partially donated from Red Wagon Plants ( To complete the cycle of food waste from our school cafeterias, students worked hard to prepare the garden beds using Green Mountain Compost ( This is the facility where South Burlington School District’s compost is hauled to! Rebel Roots student interns are maintaining the garden this summer as well as leading activities with the South Burlington Recreation Camp’s kids, grades K-8.

The new 6th grade sustainability team, Project LEAP, is currently in the planning stages of new gardens at FHTMS! These garden beds are going to be located on the back side of FHTMS, as wooden-framed raised beds. The beds will be constructed during the summer months, in time for students to plant some fall crops in for a late-season harvest when they return. Participants in the new gardens will have direct ties into classroom curriculum.

Orchard School
The Orchard gardens are up and running again! The gardens are managed by a variety of folks including UVM students, teachers, parents, students, and community volunteers. Many of the gardens around Orchard’s campus were planted in the spring by various classes before the end of the school year. A UVM student intern leads activities with School’s Out campers to maintain the vegetable and herb beds, harvest crops when they are ready, and provide some cooking lessons with the bounty! Gardens are planted bio-intensively to maximize space and our short growing season. Additional plantings of vegetables will take place later this summer to use in classrooms for food education.

Chamberlin School
Parents, teachers, students and the Principal of Chamberlin School have all contributed time and resources to the beginning of 2 new raised beds built outside of the library on the south-facing side of the school. On Earth Day this spring, many folks came out to build the bed frames, turn over grass, lay cardboard mulch, and shovel fresh new raised bed soil (from Vermont Organics; (www.vermont into the gardens! Students showed epic strength and teamwork as they transported full wheelbarrows of soil to fill the beds. After the boxes were filled and the soil settled, various classes had a chance to plant seeds and transplants. Students planted spinach, radishes, beans, tomatoes, cabbages, and more!

Rick Marcotte Central School (RMCS)
Thanks to the PTO, faculty and staff at RMCS, three new raised bed gardens are built and growing in the kindergarten courtyard! There are a plethora of blueberry bushes (generously donated!) which are going to be planted this summer as well. Parents, community members, and students have signed up to tend the gardens throughout the summer to ensure they are cared for. Students planted bush beans, carrots, tomatoes, peppers, basil, squash, and cucumbers before school was over in June. Further successions of vegetables will be planted mid-summer for a fall harvest.

SOURCE: Mollie Silver, Farm-to-School Coordinator