8th grade science teacher Shannon Souaibou is fostering a love of gardening among Trottier Middle School students.
Earlier this fall, her Garden Club made use of Southborough Education Foundation funding. The groundwork is now laid for a big spring season.
Souaibou began the Garden Club in the Spring of 2012 with 25 7th grade students. At the time, her 7th grade class was studying the Plant kingdom. Club members attended meetings in lieu of study period. They helped to build 2 garden beds and plant a few herbs, vegetables and flowers. Much of the needed supplies and plants were donated by the community or other projects.
The club spent last year caring for the small garden and planning for expansion. Last spring, she won a mini-grant from the Southborough Education Foundation. Her goal was to increase the size of the garden and to support the Garden Club.
Early this fall, the small club:
built a new compost bin, weeded the current garden, tasted herbs, harvested and enjoyed carrots, tomatoes, cucumbers and kale. Most of the harvest is given to Ms. Infantino to use in the Family and Consumer Science Class. The cafeteria has also used our herbs and is interested in using our produce if we have enough to spare.
By the end of October, Souaibou helped the club put together raised bed kits, expanding the garden. They believe that by spring they will be set for their largest planting season yet. Their newly built picnic tables also grace the garden area.
Of course, right now their work is buried in snow. That doesn’t mean there is nothing for the club to do. Souaibou intends to use this season to focus on teaching members more about plants, gardening and the food system.