It’s that time of year, our gardens are coming to life! GEMS students have been redesigning and reimagining our garden spaces. Throughout May and June, our flower and vegetable gardens will be undergoing major transformations.

During our Wonderful Wednesday time, GEMS 1st grade students spent time planting sunflowers with Mrs. Edgerly. Students planted seeds in eight raised beds along the elementary playground fence, including mammoth sunflower seeds in the back (for height) and mixed color sunflower seeds in the front. We can’t wait to watch them grow!

Second grade students in Mrs. Heth’s class spent time this winter cold sowing brassica seeds (cold weather plants), including broccoli, cabbage, and kale seeds. Along with Mrs. Wilson, students collected clear plastic containers and filled them with damp soil, taped the top back on and capped it (it makes a terrarium). Then, they set the seeds outside in the raised bed, about a month ago. We are happy to report, they have sprouted!  A week ago, students took the 14 plants out of the terrariums and planted them in the raised beds.

Seventh and 8th grade students have been working with Mrs. Metayer, Mrs. Volatile-Wood and Mr. Granger to update the flower beds by the building entrances. Students in Mrs. Metayer’s sustainable development goal group will be planting new flowers outside of the middle school entrance and in front of the main entrance to make the spaces more inviting. Students took a field trip to our local greenhouse, Garvey’s Gardens, to select and purchase the flowers.

Finally, our middle school leadership team will be creating an herb garden in our raised beds that will allow for fresh produce to be used in the cafeteria as a part of their GEMS Day of Service. In addition, the team will plant colorful flowers to update the planter at the entrance to the walking path. The herbs and flowers will be planted by students as part of their service project.

Thank you to the Vermont Cooperative for Practice Improvement and Innovation for funding for our sustainable development goal work and for helping to make our school community beautiful.

Karen Lehning is the GEMS Director of Teaching and Learning and a new contributor to the FWSU Story. You can follow her on Twitter at @klehning02.

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