Dryden, NY, United States
In the spring of 2016, CLCS received a donation of 50 packets of heirloom seeds from Seed Savers Exchange, and the gardening project began! Throughout the spring, all classes planted a variety of seeds; many kinds of vegetables, herbs, and flowers, including sunflowers.
During the 2015-2016 school year we used the Feathered Friends curriculum from PreK through 8th grade. In looking at our school yard habitat, we discovered that we had plenty of cover and space for birds, and some native plants for food, as well as two bird feeders under our apple tree. We decided to add gardens around the perimeter of the school yard, and a bird bath for water near the two feeders.
When a patch of ground near the school compost bins was cleared of debris and flattened we asked for and received permission to plant a Sunflower Garden there. Our hope was that this area would provide flowers and seeds for pollinators and birds. Although the ground was difficult to dig in, we managed to transplant our sunflower seedlings, and later added Mammoth sunflower seeds, red raspberry plants, and some milkweed plants.
During the summer a group of students came to school for Summer Gardening Club twice a week and have been faithfully watering the gardens, as well as weeding, and harvesting flowers and vegetables.
Next year we would like to add a larger garden next to the Sunflower Garden that could be open to the Community and possibly serve as a production garden. Several students have expressed a desire to sell vegetables to a local restaurant in order to raise money to make the gardens self-sustainable. Steps have already been taken in that direction and we expect to be plowing the new spot this coming fall (2016). A local eatery has also been approached with the idea of using produce from CLCS, and the response is favorable.