The students in garden club at Sumner Academy of Arts and Sciences are a committed bunch. They have been single-handedly maintaining their four vegetable beds, their raspberry bed and their asparagus bed. The students come out regularly to water and harvest from their garden–this fall, they were harvesting their summer crops (tomatoes, cucumbers and peppers) even into November!
Mariam, a senior who heads the garden club, has learned a lot about gardening from her aunt, and is able to pass on her gardening knowledge on to her peers in garden club. Her enthusiasm for the garden is contagious!
This season, in addition to taking home the veggies they grew, the garden club thought it would be a good idea to share their harvest with their teachers. For Sumner’s Teacher Appreciation Day on Nov. 4, garden club decided to prepare a whole meal for their teachers! They harvested lettuce, carrots, peppers and radishes for a fresh salad, made a vinaigrette with the raspberries from their garden, harvested green tomatoes for a soup, kale for kale chips, and even made cucumber salad with Tajin seasoning.
At the end of the school day students gathered in the cafeteria to prepare the fresh salad, plate their teachers’ food, and then individually walked the food up to the teachers’ classrooms. The meals were accompanied by a personalized thank you card for Teacher Appreciation Day. Initially the garden club feared that they would not have enough food for the 20 some teachers, but after all the food was plated and delivered, there was more than enough to go around! The students are always surprised by how much food their garden can produce.
Now that the season is winding down, garden club will be installing two new raised beds with the help of KCCG to expand their growing space. Mariam will be graduating from Sumner next semester, but she hopes that under-classmen will continue the gardening legacy after she leaves.