Enjoy the community garden at Sippican School

Jul 31, 2017
Courtesy of: Diane Cook Members of the Sippican School Garden Club outside the club's greenhouse.

To the Editor:

What do nutritious food, caring citizens, strong character, appreciation of beauty in nature, integrated curriculum, meaningful personal stories, positive community relationships, and fun have to do with school gardens?

Everything! We work hard to make the school garden available to our children and the community at large. It is a beautiful space to learn and visit.

Our school garden is enjoying its eleventh year! It began with six raised beds, a strawberry tiered garden, some fruit trees, a few holly bushes, and two lilac trees. Wow…has it changed and grown!

Now, there are eighteen different types of gardens with raised beds, tiered garden, bag garden for potatoes, vertical succulent garden, perennial garden, annual flower garden, bulb/wild flower garden, bushes with blueberries and raspberries, and Asian pear fruit trees. We have an amazing grape arbor with a mother robin that thought it a pretty special place to raise her young. We also have two fantastic compost bins that give us healthy soil each year.

Parents and families have built our tool shed and our raised beds. Marion Fence installed our fence. Community members and organizations like Whole Kids Foundation, Marion Garden Group, Morse Lumber, and Parker Electric have contributed to our fabulous greenhouse. Our garden beds are carefully irrigated thanks to Heads Up Irrigation of Wareham.

The community members and parents who have contributed both time and materials are too many to number here, but thanks to all! We welcome input, donations, and help at any time.

Students are involved with gardening all four seasons of the year as an after school program by a coordinator, instructors, and community volunteers.

The school garden is utilized by students and teachers during the school day, too. The entire fifth grade learned about composting this spring; other groups made the vertical garden with Steve Gonsalves to learn about water drought and best planting practices to save water; children planted seeds to learn about plant parts and function; temperature readings were taken in the greenhouse to align with the math curriculum; garden growth and habitat was observed to note seasonal changes.

The Elizabeth Taber summer library program enjoyed building another vertical garden with herbs and lettuces. Also, they have created garden pavers for the school garden.

Next year, plans are to rebuild the bee hotel to learn about solitary bee populations and environmental factors that have been reducing their populations and impacting our plants.

We invite you to meander through this special space and see all the lovely things growing. Munch on a green bean, pick a strawberry, or enjoy the many fragrances such as the many herbs in bloom right now. Weeding is welcomed!

Sincerely,

Diane Cook

Sippican School Garden Coordinator

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