Reflections from parkway
The Parkway School garden is far into development, as it already had a foundation to build upon when we started back in April. The garden is composed of three different sections. In the front part of the school, there are four raised beds, where we are growing garlic, onions and various floral arrangements, as well as our compost pile. On the back side of the school, there are four more raised beds that were recently built and installed. In these, we are growing tomatoes, peppers, water melons, cukes, squash, onions, and eggplant. We are currently in the process of installing PVC framed shelters over these beds. Next to these beds is our greenhouse, where we are conducting an experiment of the growth of tomatoes, peppers, and eggplants in a moisture controlled environment. Also in the greenhouse, various tomato and pepper species were raised and recently sold to parents and students raising around $200 for the school. The students planted the tomatoes and peppers back in early spring and transplanted them as they continued to grow.
Using 55 gallon plastic barrels, we constructed a rain water collection apparatus. This concept has been used in some of our lessons to explain the value of water and the importance of gathering it through natural systems. The rain barrels are currently being used at Mabel Elementary School, but we plan to install a gutter on the greenhouse so that the rain barrels may be used at Parkway School in the future.
Our plants are not the only living thing within our garden. We also have a worm bin composed of red wigglers, which were provided by Blue Ridge Organic. Our worm bin has been a great teaching tool for our students, as multiple lessons have been taught on the importance of decomposers and organic material in a successful garden. The students love to feed and “play” with our pet worms.
Mr. Tidyman received a $1500 grant from Sunrise Rotary in 2014 to build additional beds and improve the greenhouse at Parkway. We are looking forward to "digging in" to help with this project!
Blue Ridge Women in Agriculture Office
P.O. Box 67 | 969 W King Street
Boone, NC 28607