As an urban school we are fortunate to have a vibrant learning garden where our students are engaged in the growing and harvesting process. Following the principles of Big Gardens in Small Spaces, by Martyn Cox, the FSS Learning Garden is planted with fruits, vegetables and herbs, all of which are ultimately harvested and integrated into the classroom curriculum.
Our pumpkin patch is tilled by our PreK children in the spring. In the fall, they harvest the pumpkins and use them for math and science experiments, including learning about buoyancy and decomposition. Giant sunflowers provide plenty of seeds for kindergarten counting projects. The third and fourth grades plant the Three Sisters: beans, squash and corn, as part of their study of the Wampanoag people. Tomatoes are harvested with basil and chives and cooked into a delicious homemade pasta sauce. Lavender cookies make a tasty dessert. Students harvest kale and rhubarb and bake kale chips and rhubarb pie.
The seventh and eighth grade community service workers do some of the more intensive garden labor like building trellises and collecting buckets of composted lunchtime scraps from the classrooms to enrich the garden soil — making a complete cycle of food to soil and back again.