Valdosta City School District

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S.L. Mason - "Oh How our Garden has Grown!"

S.L. Mason student gardeners have planted, harvested, and eaten a variety of fruits and vegetables such as collard greens, broccoli, kale, romaine lettuce, arugula, carrots, sweet potatoes, strawberries, grapes, blueberries, and various herbs. And, even though they have had the pleasure of eating fresh fruits, vegetables, muffins, and fruit smoothies made from crops they have grown, the kale chips were always in high demand with the students.  This has been a great way to encourage students to consider healthier food choices. 

A huge thanks to the Master Gardeners, Lowndes County Extension Agents, and the school's administration for always supporting the club’s ventures.  S.L. Mason now has irrigation at the new pollinator garden where the students have planted banana trees, ten species of muscadine grapes, various pollinator-friendly plants, and many, many wildflowers. They dug all of holes for the benches, put the benches in, and made signs for the pollinators. S.L. Mason student gardener's current project is laying a walking path and placing signage out for all of the plant species. 

The garden project is an awesome learning experience for their students. Not only does it help them understand how foods get from the farm to the table, but it also allows for so many real-life connections to the content they are learning. Next year’s goal is to have at least one class in every grade using the garden areas as a way to extend content beyond the classroom. 

Christie Sermons, S.L. Mason's garden contact said, "Our hope is to highlight some of the awesome things our partnership with the Master Gardeners have brought to SLM and other schools across the district. Our garden project would not be where it is without their continued support, expertise, and guidance."