For the past two years, 1st and 2nd graders from Buffalo Public School #30 have been working hard to establish and care for their own community garden. In February, the students made a list of vegetables, flowers, and other plants that they wished to grow. With the help of their teacher Mike Hann the students started seeds in their classroom and cared for them until the seedlings were ready to plant. This year the Urban Roots Education Committee used funding from a grant obtained through a partnership with Grassroots Gardens to build five raised beds with materials purchased from Buffalo ReUse. The students used the five raised beds to plant their vegetables including peppers, onions, tomatoes, beans, peas, carrots, cucumbers, zucchini, and lettuce. They learned how to plant, stake, weed, and water and met with volunteers in the garden almost weekly to care for their growing plants. A rain barrel helped to catch water from a neighbor’s roof which made the job of watering even more fun this year. The students also planted annuals and perennials in two flower beds. Over the summer when the elementary students were out of school, we were fortunate to have the help of high school students enrolled in a school to work program.
This fall the elementary students returned to the garden excited to harvest. We had multiple days of harvesting and sampling and the students were able to take vegetables home and share them with their families. Urban Roots is excited to continue this partnership with BPS#30 and would love to share our experience with other schools that would be interested in starting a similar project. If you have questions, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or call the store at 716-362-8982.