The raised bed vegetable garden at Dobbs Elementary in the Hickman Mills school district was one of the first schoolyard gardens put in by Kansas City Community Gardens 8 years ago. For the past few years, no teacher was willing to take on the garden, so it was left un-planted for several seasons. But this year, Ms. Ford-Parker’s 6th grade classroom decided to revitalize their vegetable garden.
Ms. Ford-Parker’s students applied for the KC Healthy Kids “I Am Here” contest and their classroom was awarded $1,000 to use for health and wellness projects at their school. Seeing their empty raised beds outside of their classroom, the students decided to get their garden going again!
The class reached out to KCCG for guidance, and we helped the 6th graders plant their two raised beds in early April. The students were eager to learn about gardening, and excited to plant spring salad greens like lettuce, spinach, arugula, radishes and kale. The 6th graders watered their garden regularly, thinned out crowded radish seedlings, and applied chicken poop fertilizer to their plants to ensure that the garden would grow!
Last week, with the school year wrapping up, we cleaned out the garden and harvested all of the greens and radishes. The students took the salad greens home to share with their families, and Ms. Ford-Parker took the kale home to cook the greens and brought them back in for her students to try.
Even though the 6th graders will be moving on to middle school, they still decided to plant peppers and tomatoes for the younger students to enjoy once they return in the fall. Thanks to Ms. Ford-Parker’s 6th graders, students will be continuing their garden program at Dobbs Elementary!