In an 8-week organic garden elective class, a group of Link students learned gardening techniques and explored how food grows. Instructed by volunteers Julie Aiello and Wanda Knapik (Farm the Earth) students connected with nature. They planted seeds and seedlings in raised bed boxes in the school’s courtyard, watched them develop into mature plants, and ultimately harvested the food to taste and take home.
Among the edibles they grew, using organic gardening and companion planting techniques, were kale, lettuce, Swiss chard, parsley, turnips, sugar snap peas, beans, chives, basil and more. Colorful pansies and herbs enhanced the diversity in our small, but bountiful gardens!
In addition to vegetable and herbs, students learned about soil, the life and transportation cycle of food, and bees – their role in the pollination of plants and how they produce honey for human consumption. Julie and Wanda brought in honeycomb for the students to see and fresh honey from the combs for them to taste. One student exclaimed, “I thought honey came from a jar. I thought the bee-thing was a myth.”
In this wonderful elective, students gained a greater appreciation for how food is grown and learned how it is possible to garden successfully in the inner city.