Fairfield School Gardens Receive Donation

From left to right Betty Blackwell, School Nurse from McKinley School; Lauren Lanham, PTA Garden Committee, Sherman School; Amie Hall, founder and coordinator of Gardening Clubs at Roger Ludlowe and Fairfield Woods Middle Schools; Michelle Flashman, middle school department liaison for FCS (Family and Consumer Sciences); Fairfield Ludlowe HS Juniors Alanna Fitzpatrick and Kelly Gerson, who helped put in the Ludlowe middle school garden
From left to right holding donated organic seeds, Betty Blackwell, School Nurse from McKinley School; Lauren Lanham, PTA Garden Committee, Sherman School; Amie Hall, founder and coordinator of Gardening Clubs at Roger Ludlowe and Fairfield Woods Middle Schools; Michelle Flashman, middle school department liaison for FCS (Family and Consumer Sciences); Fairfield Ludlowe HS Juniors Alanna Fitzpatrick and Kelly Gerson, who helped put in the Ludlowe middle school garden.

Fairfield’s edible schoolyard gardens at Sherman, McKinley, Mill Hill and Dwight elementary schools along with Fairfield Woods and Roger Ludlowe middle schools received a financial donation from the Fairfield Green Food Guide funded by proceeds from the August screening of the documentary food film FRESH. The donation will help fund the gardens’ expenses and also serves to recognize the work of the parent volunteers, school staff and students running and working in the gardens. School gardens represented at the event also received organic seeds for various seasonal plantings.

Jeff, Alanna, Amie, Kelly and Michelle
Jeff, Alanna, Amie, Kelly and Michelle

The event was held on October 9 at the site of Fairfield Ludlowe’s organic, square foot garden, which still had unblighted tomatoes on the vine, carrots in the ground and nasturtium in bloom. I was delighted to hear that the students are visiting the garden and most recently learned to recognize a carrot by its top before harvesting it for use in a knife skills class.

Fairfield Ludlowe Middle School's raised beds were built with the help of Tech Ed teacher Jeff Iwanicki and his students
Fairfield Ludlowe Middle School's raised beds were built with the help of Tech Ed teacher Jeff Iwanicki and his students
Amie Hall and some younger student volunters wrestling out a rock so a fence post could be installed back in May
Amie Hall and some younger student volunteers wrestling out a rock so a fence post could be installed back in May

None of these gardens would be possible without the support and help of teachers like Michelle Flashman (top and above), and Jeff Iwanicki (above) and buy in from the students and administration. My advice to anyone wanting to start a school garden is to learn from someone who has already done it to better understand the challenges and how to overcome them. Clearly the six gardens honored on this day are proof that those challenges are hardly insurmountable.

2 thoughts on “Fairfield School Gardens Receive Donation”

  1. What a wonderful project! Teachers can help make such great things happen and projects like this one help improve students’ learning experience. Often times though, teachers fund things like this out of their pocket. A way to ensure hands-on projects like this can continue is to contribute through Adopt-A-Classroom, a nonprofit that is dedicated to supporting teachers. When you adopt a classroom at http://www.adoptaclassroom.org, 100% of the donation goes to the teacher and it’s tax deductible!

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