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Community conserves Montgomery Elementary School’s vegetable gardens
by Sarah Anne Voyles
September 17, 2013 04:38 PM | 3960 views | 0 0 comments | 27 27 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Staff / Katherine Frye / From left, Vanessa Quan, Larren Adams and Principal Ester Silvers.
Staff / Katherine Frye / From left, Vanessa Quan, Larren Adams and Principal Ester Silvers.
Volunteers from Whole Foods Market, Chattahoochee River Keepers, company Farmer D, parents, teachers and a few students joined forces to maintain the garden at Montgomery Elementary School in Brookhaven last week.

This effort was part of the Whole Foods Day of Service.

The idea for the garden came from the school’s garden committee members Larren Adams and Vanessa Quan. The mothers approached the school’s principal, Esther Silvers, more than two years ago with the idea.

“I am very concerned, like most parents, about childhood obesity,” Quan said. “I thought this was a wonderful way to educate children on how to eat healthy.”

When approached by the parents, Silvers said she thought the idea was great and it would allow the children to see their food growing.

The garden in the upper school is next to the playground and now has several beds. Silvers said they put a plant bed in for each grade level.

The students enjoy the opportunity to work in the garden. Fifth grader Alexandra Jepson said she liked the garden because she has learned how to keep a garden healthy.

More than 20 volunteers helped to install four new planting beds and rain barrels on the service day. They also prepared the other six beds for the students to plant fall vegetables.

The day started at 9 a.m. and as parents arrived, Farmer D brought the new plant beds made from cedar wood. Adams said they chose cedar because the wood is not treated with arsenic when it goes through its processing.

On the side of the garden, volunteers with Chattahoochee River Keepers helped spray paint and install the rain barrels while Adams took a few volunteers to the lower school garden to put in one of the plant beds.

“We realized after the end of last year that the lower school children did not have their own creative engagement with the garden unless their teachers planned something around it,” Adams said. “We proposed to the PTA to start one for the lower school.”

Each group joined the effort in various ways. Whole Foods helped to provide $2,000 for the school through its Whole Kids foundation.

Kirstin Howard, marketing team leader for the market, said the foundation desires to help children eat healthier and, through the funds, the school could install benches for the garden to help teachers as they educate their students outside.

The foundation will also participate in the school’s science night that will feature vegetables grown in the garden.

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