Peabody students grow a garden
By Emily A. Holmes
Kids love to play in the dirt, and on a beautiful Friday afternoon in April, Peabody Beta Club students broke ground on their brand new school garden.
You may have noticed the five new raised beds behind the school that were installed by volunteers in mid-March. These beds, the compost to fill them and the kid-friendly tools to water and tend them were all paid for by a generous grant awarded by local nonprofit GrowMemphis.
GrowMemphis supports community and school gardens in order to build neighborhood food systems that “eliminate hunger, promote health, and further social justice.” This mission was a perfect fit for the Peabody Beta Club students, who wanted a service project that would be both fun and beneficial to the school.
Parents at Peabody are excited for their kids to have the opportunity to learn first-hand how plants grow, where food comes from, and how to grow their own food. In line with the mission of GrowMemphis, the garden will be 100 percent organic.
Students celebrated their new garden by planting summer vegetables and herbs: basil, tomatoes, eggplants, peppers, squash, and cucumbers, all donated by GrowMemphis. Along with representatives from MCS Nutrition Services, GrowMemphis, Urban Farms, and E Scape Landscapes, State Rep. G. A. Hardaway joined Principal Kongsouly Jones and her students in the planting party and reminisced about growing up gardening with his family. But fifth grader Bria Dodd was most excited to learn about all “the tools used for gardening and the different kinds of plants you can grow.”
The garden will be maintained over the summer by volunteer Peabody parents. When the school year starts up again in August, teachers will have the opportunity to integrate the garden into the curriculum for lessons in math, science, art, reading, and of course, nutrition.