Silver Bay students join locally-grown food movement with school gardenLocavore eating can’t get more local for students in Silver Bay. The William Kelley School garden is right next to the school building.
Locavore eating can’t get more local for students in Silver Bay. The William Kelley School garden is right next to the school building.
Silver Bay resident and past William Kelley employee Leilani Peterson and William Kelley Elementary School fifth-grade teacher Tom Frericks led and continue to lead the way on the garden, which grew its roots last year.
Last year the duo, along with past Statewide Health Improvement Program coordinator Lisa Cavallin, William Kelley principal Joe Nicklay, and other teachers in the area took the steps needed to organize and start the garden. About $6,000 from a SHIP program grant was spent on a chain-link fence, cedar timbers for raised garden beds, wood chips, landscaping fabric, and other basic supplies. SHIP also funded the first batch of seeds.
Nine varieties of tomatoes, eight varieties of peppers, cabbages, broccoli, flowers, strawberries, along with other fruits and vegetables call the William Kelley School garden home—although not for too long. Frericks says some of the garden’s produce will be served for lunch in the school cafeteria at the salad bar.
Both Peterson and Frericks say the Silver Bay community has been supportive of the garden by donating gardening equipment and buying the garden’s bounty, which is sold in the William Kelley Elementary door area. According to Peterson and Frericks, customers were satisfied by what they tasted last year and came back for more.
“They ate it like it was candy,” said Peterson.
“They didn’t want to eat anything else,” added Frericks.
William Kelley High School students helped construct the garden last year and students in Family and Consumer Science classes used ingredients from the garden in their cooking. K-6 students will help during the transplanting process this spring and will also help plant sunflowers, cucumbers, and popcorn throughout the rest of the growing season. But Frericks and Peterson are still brainstorming ways on how to get more students involved.
“We’re working out some of the details,” Frericks said.
Now that the garden has been constructed, both say the cost of the garden will be about $500 on a yearly basis. The proceeds from selling the garden’s fruits and vegetables go right back into the garden. Frericks and Peterson say they are looking forward to seeing what the garden yields this year. Peterson says that because of the odd weather, she has been able to plant in March—the earliest she has ever planted.
“Hopefully, we can have broccoli and lettuce earlier than usual,” she said.
But first things first: Next week K-6 students will help transplant 225 feet of raspberries.