Last Thursday evening, families from Ridgeview Elementary in the Olathe School District gathered together to do a final fall harvest and closed the 8 family garden plots at the school!
In 2010, Ridgeview Elementary students built raised beds for the students to grow and taste vegetables. During the first few summers of the garden, families cared for the vegetables while students were on vacation, and harvested what was available to share at home. This interest and excitement in the schoolyard garden prompted Principal Kim Thorup to connect with our team about expanding and creating space for families to grow food next to their children’s garden.
In May 2014, KCCG tilled ground plots for families. Parents walk by the Family Garden each day as they bring their children to and from school, and with each year they watch as the garden continues to grow and expand. The successes families have had in the garden has increased interest and new families continue to sign up for the garden.
Ms. Thorup is committed to providing families with a growing space. Ridgeview has paid for tilling, straw, fertilizer and compost each season. Families pay a small fee to sign up for KCCG membership and receive seeds and plants.
This season families harvested over 15 grocery bags of produce from their individual plots. The garden not only served as a produce source, but it also connected families who previously did not know one another. Families have helped water the plots when others were out of town, shared gardening tips and vegetables from their cultures.
In future seasons, Ridgeview hopes to continue to expand the Family Garden and plant a Giving Grove orchard.