IGNITE Spring 2019 - Page 5

Get Growing! 5 Steps for Starting Your Garden 1. GRAB SOME FRIENDS Digging, mulching, weeding, watering — gardens are a lot of work. Make the project easy and fun by enlisting volunteers to help start the garden. 2. PLOT A SPACE Look for land that can be fenced off and easily accessed. Test soil quality to make sure it has enough vitamins and minerals, and check surrounding vegetation for greedy plants that will drain the nutrients from your soil. 3. CHOOSE YOUR CROPS What do you like to eat? Start there, and then consider seasonal needs, crop length, and space requirements. For example, lettuce can squeeze into a small space whereas pumpkins practically need a whole patch. 4. ORGANIZE YOUR SCHEDULE Which days do you water? What if it rains? Keep track of your daily nursery needs with a comprehensive plan of everything from picking to pruning. 5. BEAUTIFY YOUR SPACE Gardens are naturally beautiful, but they’re also the perfect home for painted rocks, sculptures, flowers, fountains, and more! Make your garden a space where you love to be and taking care of the garden won’t be too big a chore. Will students be involved in the garden? The space can also serve as an outdoor classroom. Taking students out of the classroom helps promote engagement. Sean: They helped prep for the opening in 2018 and several teachers and students have already started seedlings in their What has the reaction been? classroom to transplant into the garden during the spring. Stacey: A lot of nearby high school students cut through the Stacey: It’s an opportunity for students to learn unique Bonner & Prendie campus to see our green space. You can see skills. How often do they use a shovel, or a hammer, or fix the Bonner & Prendie students have a sense of pride when a lawnmower? When you’re working with the land and others notice it and think it’s cool. touching the soil, you see the literal fruits of your labor. It carries a powerful feeling of accomplishment that with your own two hands you can help sustain somebody. 5