Summit's student garden

From planning to harvest-both students and garden grow

Summit School has incorporated gardening into its lessons throughout the years, but last spring the students celebrated their commitment to having a garden with the 3rd Annual Planting Day.

Planning, preparing and planting the Summit Student Garden is now an organized floor effort for elementary and middle school students. Students working with Summit Teacher Denise Nichols maintain the garden throughout the Extended School Year (ESY) in June and July.

“This year, Summit’s ESY program had a special focus on global themes. We built on this theme with a special herb bed for different plants used in international foods and medicines,” says Nichols.

From the fixings for salsa to herbal teas to a root bed, students planted a variety of flowers, vegetables and herbs. As students return to school the week of August 13, they will once again tend the garden beds and start preparing for harvest season in the fall.

According to Nichols, gardening has become an annual activity because it offers many opportunities to build skills and reinforce classroom learning. Students use their science and math knowledge from planning to harvest. They build time management, responsibility and cooperation skills. They learn about the benefits of farm-to-table gardening, as well as, ways to give back to the community by donating some of the harvest to local food pantries.

“…and it’s fun!” says Nichols. “Students are looking forward to making pickles out of the cucumbers this fall!”