Our Schoolyard Gardens staff is often asked, “What happens during the winter?”
Freezing temperatures and snow and ice may keep vegetables from growing, but there is still much to be done in January and February. Our staff uses these months to add soil amendments and compost to gardens, repair damaged beds, help schools expand their gardens, and enroll and construct gardens at brand new schools.
In December, the Urban Rangers, a volunteer organization of middle and high school boys, added compost and repaired garden beds at Kansas City Public Schools: James Elementary, Carver Elementary and Phillips @ Attucks Elementary. Schoolyard Gardens staff helped expand two existing gardens at Eisenhower Middle School and Sumner Academy High School in the Kansas City Kansas Public School District.
In January and February, Schoolyard Gardens plans to enroll 6 new schoolyard gardens. This will keep staff, teachers and students busy building 23 raised beds and adding additional beds at 4 existing schools.
Involving the students in building the garden is one of the key components of the Schoolyard Gardens program. It creates pride and ownership among the students. The students know that they have helped create something that beautifies their school, and allows them an opportunity to work with tools, like hammers and nails, that many have not previously experienced. Garden construction days are always a fun day that gets the students active and moving and encourages students and staff to imagine all the possibilities of what the garden can bring to their school.