By Michelle Rice
What’s so good about growing your own food? That’s one question put to the students at Burgess-Peterson Academy by teachers and volunteers in the gardening program. To help find the answers, the students have recently been planting seeds to fill orders from parents and community members who want to share the benefits of home gardening. The students also are growing seedlings for the school’s garden.
An extensive catalog was made available both online and in the school office and then orders were collected. The students offered plants in 3-inch pots for $1 and six-packs of plants for $3. The seedlings are sprouting under lights in the garden classroom and will be delivered when they’re ready to plant in early April. (The average last freeze in Atlanta is April 15.)
In addition to learning how to plant seeds and care for seedlings, the planting exercise also tied in to lessons on goods and services, transportation and math. Students learned what country food from the grocery store comes from and grew some varieties of fruit and vegetables that aren’t available in stores because they are too difficult to transport. They counted how many single pots and six-packs were needed, and also figured how much profit was made by selling the seedlings.
Next the students will tend the seedlings in the school garden and learn patience while they wait for harvest time and the chance to taste the products of their work.
So why is growing your own food a good thing? Here are three answers: It’s cheaper than buying from the store. Food that isn’t available in the store can be grown at home. Food picked and eaten when it’s perfectly ripe tastes better than food picked unripe and transported hundreds or thousands of miles. Head out to the garden and find some answers of your own.
Burgess-Peterson Gardeners Grow to Order
By Michelle Rice