The Sullivan Middle School Garden has completed its first growing season. Last spring students designed and planted the first seasons herbs, vegetables, and flowers including lettuce, tomatoes, peppers, parsley, cilantro, eggplant, mint, basil, and cabbage, and sunflowers. Over the summer community volunteers helped tend to the garden will school was out for the summer.
In the fall a new student group, "The Beetle Juice Club" has been formed to spearhead the garden project. The students developed a mission statement directing the goals of their new group. The Beetle Juice Club is a group of students from Sullivan Middle School whose mission is to teacher kids that gardening is fun and exciting, beautify the school grounds, and unify the school around eating heatlhy and protecting the environment.
A contest was held to name the new garden, and the winning name is "The Dr. Arthur F. Sullivan Memorial Garden." During the fall The Beetle Juice Club harvested vegetables, learned new exciting snack recipes, and participated in the first year of the Main South Farmers market, which is aimed at increasing access to affordable nutritious foods in the disadvantaged community of Main South in Worcester. The Beetle Juice Club as also created a bulletin board in the cafeteria to inform students of the garden happenings, and of ways gardening can promote a healthy lifestyle. The group will continue to update this board as well as reach out to the school and community in other ways.
The group is now planning for the garden this spring, and holding an open house. The group also plans to develop a school wide survey to increase participation of students throughtout the school, and gain a better understand of what the school community would like to see grown in the garden and how they can help out.