Gardens are a funny place at schools. When they are at their peak, students are on summer vacation. It is no different at SFA. Our school garden is an awesome space, with raised beds, large trees on its edges for shade, picnic tables, and benches for students to work and sit.
This year we have worked very hard to plant summer crops late in the season to extend into the late summer and early fall of the school year. We also try to plant as early as possible to have crops before school lets out in May. This does not always work. We plant late fall, winter, and early spring crops like carrots, radishes, and turnips as well. Of course, we are always watching what goes on in the Pumpkin graveyard where we place pumpkins and gourds after Halloween and watch them decay all winter, then wait for new growth in the spring.
In the heat of the summer, we have wildflowers blooming. Our pollinator bed has different activities every week from bees, bugs, and wasps as different flowers come into bloom. We are watching for caterpillars and butterflies.
The school garden has never been about the production of food but rather a place for students to learn about plants, dirt, insects, and where food and flowers come from.
We are grateful to our volunteers, our School Garden Coordinator Paula Herries, and our community partner, SeedSTL, without whom we would never have been able to have this awesome resource at St Francis of Assisi School.