Students Build Teaching Garden

Students Build Teaching Garden

Bethel Grove Elementary students have built the second teaching garden in Memphis.

MEMPHIS – ( Building planters, digging dirt, planting flowers, all in a normal day of school right? It was in the lesson plan at one southeast Memphis school today. 

Bethel Grove Elementary is home to 290 kids. Over the next few months they’re going to have the chance to get outside and tend a garden. 

The hope is for them to have a better understanding of where our food comes from. The idea was sprouted by the American Heart Association and Cigna; it’s called a teaching garden. 

It is the second of its kind in the Memphis area. 

Principal Audrean Bond-Jones, a farm girl herself, is beyond excited. 

“I grew up in the country. I grew up growing things and I wanted that experience for our students,” Bond-Jones said. 

Stephan Leonard is the Farm Manager Educator for Shelby County Schools, he said, “The kids are actually building them from the ground up from constructing the wood, to putting the rods in, to putting in the weed cloth and filling them up with the soil.” 

Danny Herrera, a student at the school, enjoys getting his hands dirty and learning at the same time. 

“It makes me feel good because we really get to experience what we are doing,” Herrera said.

They’re building ten gardens loaded with everything from broccoli to peppers. 

How long it takes to grow depends on the weather. These kids know we need the rain. 

“If the sun keeps beating on the vegetables and fruit it’ll make them dry out and die.” said Summer Muckle. 

Leonard adds the final product will give the kids a sense of accomplishment. 

“With these gardens the kids can tell you that these are my apples or my pears or my collards or my greens or my peppers, I grew them myself,” Leonard said.

After today the gloves come off. Harvest day is in two to three months. At that point the food goes from the gardens into the cafeteria for some taste testing.

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