July 1, 2015 - The School Garden has been planted & is growing beautifully with the help of our many student gardeners. With winter outstaying its welcome, students hurried to get seeds and seedlings into the rich soil of the raised beds. Mrs. Messier’s students have planted herbs, peas, onions, lettuce, potatoes and sweet potato ‘slips’. Late in the winter Mrs. Messier’s class began rooting sweet potatoes by sprouting a whole potato in a glass of water, and these sprouts, called slips when rooted, were later transplanted to the garden. The sweet potatoes, herbs and onions will be a great addition to the Thanksgiving dinner the students prepare in November. The students have also come up with some inventive ideas to combat the persistent wood chucks that also enjoy the garden. Radishes planted by Mrs. Tiernan’s students were a huge success and the first crop harvested from the garden this spring. Very colorful & spicy!
Mr. Dorman’s 7th Grade class started tomatoes plants in the classroom, studying germination, plant anatomy and classification, and growing requirements, then transplanted a great variety of tomato plants to the garden. The plants are already flowering and growing small tomatoes, possible blue-ribbon winners at the fair!
Ms. Lovell’s students have been loyal gardeners planting popcorn, carrots and pole beans, while keeping the beds weeded. This is their second year growing popcorn after a very successful crop last fall. In the past the students have also been very helpful by harvesting veggies for the cafeteria and the food pantries, taste testing new vegetables, and using garden vegetables to make delicious soup in the classroom.
Mrs. Pruiksma’s 3rd Grade class has once again planted a Three Sisters Garden with corn, squash and beans for enriching the 4th Grade’s study of Native American agriculture in the fall. What a nice addition to the school garden!
First Grade student’s in Mrs. Moss’s class enjoyed a couple of planting lessons, learning about different types of crops while planting beans, sunflowers and carrots in the garden, and peppers, tomatoes and marigolds in the classroom. The students also talked about root vegetables while harvesting radishes and tasting them in the classroom. Mrs. Moss will continue with some exciting projects in the upcoming school year…stay tuned!!
The garden will be tended over the summer by volunteers, with produce donated to the local food pantries and entered into the Schaghticoke Fair. Once school begins again the students will be back at work learning about how their food grows, trying new vegetables and enjoying the outdoor classroom in the school garden.
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Watch our Garden Grow
Something will soon be rotten at Hoosic Valley… but it’s a good thing! The HVCS School Garden will soon be able to recycle garden waste in a beautiful and functional cedar compost bin system built by Mr. Steve Struwing’s high school Production technology class. The compost bin was designed and built by the class over the past few weeks, delivered last week to the garden and will be ready to fill this spring with leaves, weeds, spent garden plants and vegetable scraps from the cafeteria kitchens. This compost will be used to enrich the soil in the garden’s raised beds and to mulch the beds to preserved moisture during dry periods.
In May the school garden volunteers held a plant sale in which community members donated extra garden plants that were then sold to raise the funds needed to buy materials for this project. With guidance on appropriate materials from staff at Wiley Bros. Lumber, a basic idea was then given to Mr. Struwing for him to design the three-bin compost system with his students. The Production class curriculum includes tool and machine safety and usage, pattern design, calculating material costs and quantities, material selection, and fabrication, and is a favorite class for high school students.
The three bin system will provide sufficient space to adequately add, turn and aerate the decomposing plant materials to produce crumbly rich compost rather than have that plant waste thrown into the garbage. Build of cedar with hardware cloth, a strong metal mesh fabric, the compost bin is a very solid, sturdy structure that will serve the garden for years. Mr. Struwing and his students had considered every detail in the design and construction of the bin to make it completely functional and easy to use for the gardeners.
When the compost bin was delivered to the school garden it was obvious to see that the class had strayed just slightly from the original design: on the back of the bin, in beautifully crafted letters were the words “Hoosic Valley School Garden” with the garden’s logo of hands holding a sprouted plant! This surprise addition will serve as a garden sign that is visible to drivers passing by on Route 67 as well as to all those entering the school from Pleasant Avenue.
The carpentry skills of these students are outstanding and the garden volunteers were thrilled to have the class contributing their talent to the garden. The directors of the garden project are eager to have more opportunities for interdisciplinary projects to involved students who may have an interest in the garden in a variety of ways. Mr. Struwing’s contribution to this project is greatly appreciated, providing his students an opportunity to add their touch to a lasting structure that will have a positive impact on the school and the environment. The Hoosic Valley School Garden is located next to the Business Administrative Building/Transportation Department and adjacent to the elementary school.
Pumpkins, pumpkins everywhere!
Did you notice some festive orange globes in the Cafeterias, ES library, Main offices and the business office?
They were grown in the Hoosic Valley School garden this year by Mrs. Fancher's, Ms.Akin's and Mrs. Rossetti's 2011-2012 1st Grade Class!
Happy Halloween to all!
Words cannot express the overwhelming gratitude we have for our builders, Wiley Bros, Crandall Corners Farm and all of you who so generously made donations to help us reach our goal of building phase one of our school garden.
The garden is located between the bus garage and 5/6 playground. We will be planting it over the next week and you are invited to visit anytime you’d like. There will be an official garden opening and dedication in the next few weeks, we’ll keep you posted on the date and time. We’d love to have you attend!
Many, many thanks for helping us grow!
Angela Ross-Hixson &
Nancy O’Donnell -
School Garden Coordinators
How Can You Help?
We are asking the community to support this project through our Garden Registry. The garden registry works the same as any other special occasion registry; items needed for the garden are listed from timbers to garden tools to hardware to soil specially mixed for vegetable gardens by Crandalls. You can select any ‘gardenership’ level you are comfortable with. The registry is really quite easy, simply choose a gift from the registry and make a check out to Hoosic Valley PTO so you have a receipt for income tax purposes. You can leave the check at Wiley’s or mail it to
Hoosic Valley School
1548 Rte 67
c/o Nancy O’Donnell.
Full gardener-ship of timbers to construct one 16’x3’x18” raised planting bed.
Savory Summer Squash
All timbers to construct one course of a raised bed.
Sugary Sweet Corn
All the specially mixed soil needed to fill one raised bed.
A single timber to help construct a raised bed.
Luscious Leaf Lettuce
One cubic yard of mixed soil.
Ruby Red Radish
Garden Tools for our young green thumbs.
Hardware for bed construction: nails and re-bar
We will also need help when it comes time to "build" our garden. A May construction date will be announced.
Why Plant a Garden?
A garden becomes that alive outdoor classroom where students and teachers can make a ‘hands-on’ connection between the world around them and curriculum concepts, incorporating ‘garden-based learning’.
A garden helps builds relationships within the community by providing opportunities where parents, teachers, businesses, neighbors and community groups can get together and make a positive difference.
A garden provides a connection between what we eat and where our food comes from. It also encourages students to try new vegetables and make healthier food choices. Nothing tastes as good as something you’ve grown yourself!
A garden provides a location for differentiated learning opportunities.
A garden will help connect our students to the strong agricultural history of the Hoosic Valley community.
A garden is an on-site field trip opportunity that requires no bus transportation or registration fees.