ORGANIC GARDEN

The Problem

Our students would like to develop and organic garden on our school grounds. We will utilize only organic soil in the garden as an alternative to chemically treated or synthetic soils. Students will see the relationship between beneficial microorganisms; earthworms and all the other organisms that will help the garden thrive. Organic soil encourages beneficial microbes, earthworms and other insects to thrive in a garden. Students will build their soil with organic ingredients such as compost, worm castings, humus and mulch. As garden plants pass through their life cycles, they may be plowed under in order to decompose and return their nutrients to the soil, thus enhancing it. Students will then harvest their crops to share with their community on an ongoing basis according to season.

Plan of Action

We have identified an herb /vegetable garden near the main office that gets at least six hours of sun per day and drains well. Students will decide on the size and shape of our new garden. This will be done by putting down a garden hose and adjusting it until we get the appropriate size and shape. The proposed garden is a grassy area which will be tilled. This will be the most labor intensive part of the entire process, but once it’s done it will make the rest of the gardening easier. Amending the soil for ideal growing conditions will be the next phase. We will augment the soils with food scraps and lawn cuttings. Students will be conducting tests on soil samples to monitor nutrients and acidity levels. Since we are starting our garden early in the season students will select their organic seeds to grow. Once the seeds begin sprouting, the garden will be given a three inch layer of organic mulch, such as shredded bark, hay, chopped leaves, or grass clippings. This will keep weeds down while retaining soil moisture. Lastly, we will be labeling our plants to ensure we know exactly what we planted. We will install plant labels near each plant and make a map of the garden to keep for future reference. This will also allow us to easily share the progress with the rest of our high school.

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