Sunnyside’s gardening gurus
For the second year in a row, Sunnyside Elementary School’s youngest students have been planting a vegetable and flower garden in June after carefully tending young plants in their classrooms for several weeks.
this month, during a visit to the grade two class of Marie-Josee Boulet, the teacher who initiated the project, the students were anxious to get out to the garden to plant some potatoes. Along one wall of the classroom fluorescent light fixtures hovered over dozens of young seedlings planted in yogurt and cottage cheese containers, waiting for warmer temperatures before getting their turn to move out to the garden.
We’ve started tomatoes and pepper plants from seed and some flowers, morning glories, nasturtiums and zinnias. The kindergarten class started these sunflowers; I’ll have them as students next year so starting the sunflowers was a nice introduction to the gardening project. The grade three class has started cucumber plants,” explained Marie-Josee Boulet as we toured the ‘in-school’ nursery. “We’ll also be planting two kinds of pumpkins,” she added.
heading to the brightly fenced vegetable patch, the students had to write a few sentences in their gardening journals. “We’re integrating writing, reading and art with the gardening,” said Ms. Boulet. Looking at the class’ celery stock-growing experiment and the peas growing in the clear glass container, so students can watch the root growth, science also seems to be in the mix.
outside at the garden, the students gathered around, all eyes glued to the garden as their teacher demonstrated how to plant a potato. Working in pairs, they then took turns sowing the spuds.
I’ve never done a garden before,” said Chloe Ann after planting a potato. “It’s fun but you get a little dirty,” said her planting partner, Ellie Harden. Ben Knapp was interested in the garden although he insisted adamantly that he “didn’t like veggies!” “The garden is cool, it’s good. I can remember painting the fence around this garden when I was in kindergarten,” added Ben.
I like how we can grow vegetables. I like to eat vegetables,” said Rosalyn Sheldon. “I always help my Mom in her garden – I love doing gardening,” said Alesha Buzzell.
Sunnyside vegetable garden is now all planted with the students’ seedlings and seeds. Over the summer, Marie-Josee is hoping that the students will visit the garden with their parents to help maintain and harvest it. “I’ll be sending a letter home to the parents to ask them to come and weed and water the garden with their kids, and to pick things when they’re ready. We’re also planning to harvest the vegetables in the fall. We can use squash, tomatoes, herbs, and we’re hoping some potatoes, for the school’s fall dinner,” said Sunnyside teacher and her young students have planted a vegetable garden at the school, growing everything from seed. the teacher.
town of Stanstead’s summer gardeners working with the Fleurons project will also check in on the garden occasionally to help weed and water it.
It’s magic for the students to see the whole process of growing food from beginning to end and, hopefully, they’ll get to eat it in the fall!” said Ms. Boulet.