Washington Middle School Garden Club students Karlie Blodien, Jordan Russo, Felicia Brentley, Karlie Allen, and Kaitlyn Brentley honed their gardening skills during the summertime by helping to weed and nurture the school's garden.
During the school year, Washington Middle School Garden Club members, and advisers Sara Joly, Priscilla Menzies, Jen Cronin, Andy Scalise and Deb Szwejbka, meet once a week to research plants, decide what will be planted, start plants from seeds in the indoor greenhouses and transplant seedlings into the outdoor garden. Over the summer, advisers take turns meeting students on Wednesday mornings where they volunteer to weed, water and pick whatever is ripe to bring back to their homes. In the fall, any leftover vegetables are given to the school cafeteria to use in the lunch preparation. Last year, cabbage and potato soup were created and served to students.
"Plant life is part of the fifth-grade science curriculum, so we hope the Washington Garden Club offers an enjoyable extension to classroom work. It's so much fun seeing the students' faces light up when they leave with their goodies. One student remarked that the garden is better than a farmers' market. Hopefully this experience 'plants' a lifelong love of gardening," said Szwejbka.
Washington Middle School gardeners Felicia Brentley, Karlie Allen and Kaitlyn Brentley pose in the school’s flower garden.