A big challenge in school gardening in this part of the world is winter. Children are at their desks, but the soil is frozen. Thus, we are please to report great help that the Whole Kids Foundation is offering us to build a workaround.
As part of an annual school gardening program, the foundation, the charitable arm of Whole Foods Market, has awarded the Vegetable Project $2,000 to build a new hoop-style greenhouse at Myers Middle School. We built our first one, measuring 10 feet by 16 feet in April 2012 with support from WellPoint Corp., then the parent of Empire Blue Cross Blue Shield.
We know from experience that a new location, about a hundred feet to the northwest, will provide much more sun in the winter. And we have some thoughts about building a sturdier structure. We also know that putting heads together before turning the first shovel of soil should yield better results than leaving this all in the hands of someone whose main contribution is to relentlessly say, “Hey everyone, digging in the dirt is good for you.”
Please consider that an invitation to get in touch if you would like to contribute engineering and building skills.
And we know that for $2,000, we can build something where we can nurse hardy vegetables, spinach and arugula, for example, through the coldest months. And we can build something that will be comfortable for visiting classes on chilly November or March days.
A couple more notes on the subject:
We would be so pleased if we can engage the school district’s vocational-technical educators and their classes in participating in this project, in planning, designing, engineering and building. We might make the case that a real-world project with real expectations of a project owner – that’s us! – offers potential that the regular routine can’t match. We probably could use help, however, in carrying that message forward.
We also need to get another project on track, one that we started but have not made happen. We need to sketch out a plan for all of the space we use behind Myers. To do this, we have a great need for – and here is another invitation to step forward and contribute – skill in creating visual representations of design plan ideas. We’re looking for someone who can draw a site plan or use electronic tools of the site planning trade.