Persell’s Produce Patch is a community garden conceptualized by two teachers and their Garden Club members. The garden consists of 5 large raised garden beds, a shed, a large teaching area, and approximately 50 varieties of produce. The majority of the garden was built during a 12-hour community work day with over 30 teacher, parent, and community volunteers. It has continued to be a labor of love for many staff, students, and community members who have given graciously of their time and energy because they believe in this project. Almost everything that is growing in the garden was started from seed in different classrooms throughout the school or directly in the garden beds.
The goal is to provide an outdoor, hands-on experience to deliver lifelong learning and enrichment in the students’ lives. Many students have tried new fruits and vegetables that they have never had before. Students are seeing where their food comes from and are learning how to grow their own food. Staff and students have had an opportunity to build close working relationships with different community members, learned how to nurture plants, foster patience, and it has raised awareness of both nature and health benefits of fresh and organic local produce. There were increased opportunities for families to be engaged in their child’s life in the school. During summer hours, many community members, families, and students have stopped by the garden to harvest and take home free produce.
This project has a Facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/PersellSchoolGarden/) where you can see the progress that has been made with this project.