Written by: Mr Davis, Gardening
Gardening class is off to a great start this semester! For those of you who may not be aware, our school garden (known as “Hopewell Gardens”) is fully functioning urban farm, selling produce weekly at the Donelson Farmers Market as a fundraiser to help sustain our gardening program. Our garden functions as an outdoor classroom, providing opportunity for students to have a hands on experience with sustainable, organic farming. They are given exposure to all the processes involved in producing food from seed to table.
Over the course of the last few weeks students have been learning about harvesting, processing and packaging of fresh produce. To kick off the class, we watched a video together of a farmer we work with in Uganda named Francis Lubega. He described his experiences as a child growing up in rural East Africa, where farming was a means of survival. We learned about the pressures they experienced to ensure there was food on the table, often working the farm from sun up to sun down with inadequate tools. Francis shared about how grateful he was to be learning so many helpful farming techniques since working with G.O.D. Intl.
Additionally, the students have just begun their first class project of constructing an “aquaponics” system together. Aquaponics is a system of aquaculture in which the waste produced by farmed fish supplies nutrients for plants grown in gravel substrate, which in turn purifies the water.
It's been such a pleasure to work with these students, helping them to figure out how to cooperate with one another and work as a team in this meaningful effort of producing quality food.