It has been a fantastic year for the Learning Gardens at New Vista High School! The action packed year was filled with student-initiated and implemented garden projects. There were many opportunities for students to engage with and learn in the garden during academic classes and Gardening Workshops. Students learned about gardening in Colorado and practiced skills such as garden planning, preparation, building, planting, protecting, maintaining, and harvesting. Students also had opportunities to enjoy the fruits of their labor through cooking activities in the Gardening Workshop and during the Earth Task Force’s Fall Local Lunch, which featured veggies from the Learning Garden!
The Learning Garden received a new fence and two new raised garden beds over the course of this school year! Spencer Cambor, garden lover and active participant in the New Vista Garden Program initiated the fence project during the Fall, and the new garden beds during the Spring. Students in the Fall Gardening Workshop led by project leader Spencer, worked together to begin building the garden’s new fence. The new fence expanded our garden area which will give the garden more growing potential and more space for students to engage with the garden! In the Spring, Spencer initiated the new garden bed project. With the help of Marco’s Service Week students, the new beds were built and installed in the garden in mid-May!
The expansion of the garden led to the topics of two lesson collaborations between the Garden Coordinator and New Vista teachers. In a standards-based “Topics in Math” and garden lesson, students used their math skills to design new garden beds and calculate how much food could be grown in their new space. Students learned about the value of growing food and the positive impact it can have on their local and global food systems. In a standards-based reading and garden lesson, students explored the positive role that fresh, local food and gardening played in the lives of the Hobbits, discussed current trends in our food system and contrasted them to the Hobbits’. Students created a seasonal, Hobbit inspired garden design, incorporating vegetable growing information specific to Colorado growing conditions. Both lessons encouraged students to explore the relevance of having a school garden and got students into the garden to make a difference in their school community and beyond!
It was an exciting and productive Fall and Spring in the New Vista Learning Gardens. Summer is fast approaching, and the garden is looking for volunteers to help with activities and maintenance during the summer months. Food grown in the garden during the summer is used at New Vista’s Local Lunch at the beginning of the school year, and excess veggies are donated to those in need through Boulder Food Rescue. The garden relies on both New Vista students and community members for its success. Community Experience credits are available again for New Vista students. We are also looking for those interested in attending our group volunteer days! The dates will be June 2, June 27, July 14 and August 15 at 9am. If you are interested in participating in the garden, please email Melanie at MGoldbort@yahoo.com.
All are invited to the Spring Gardening Workshop’s Plant Sale this upcoming Wednesday, May 21st at New Vista High School. The sale will have tomatoes, peppers, and herbs grown by the Spring Gardening Workshop students. Come out to support the New Vista Gardening Program and explore the joys of growing your own food!