Sixth graders at Mesa Union Elementary School in Somis are
busy planning and preparing for a fall garden. The students are part of the
first agriculture class at the school.
Preparing a garden takes lots of hard work. The students
identified the insects that were living in their future garden location. They
then tested the soil for nitrogen, potassium, acidity, and phosphorous. Using a
test kit, they found that the soil needed a boost of nitrogen. Agromin donated
40 yards of its vegetable garden mix to increase the soil’s nitrogen content
and balance the soil's overall nutrients.
The students voted on what fall crops to grow. They decided
to plant carrots, lettuce, cucumbers, celery, kale and strawberries (although
they do not think cucumbers will grow in the fall). The class intends to eat
the crops and give away any extra to the cafeteria. They are now in the process
of mapping out their irrigation system. Once they install the system, they'll
plant their vegetable seeds and the garden will soon be in full swing.
Planning, planting and managing a student garden has many
added benefits than just the resulting fresh vegetables (although just-picked
vegetables are certainly a wonderful reward). During their class and while in
the garden, the students are learning the value of hard work, teamwork, garden strategies
and management, botany, food science and career opportunities in agriculture.
We can't wait to see how their garden turns out!
Labels: Mesa Union Elementary School, school garden, Somis