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School Garden News

Just in time for summer growing season, the garden at Little Miami Intermediate School is growing itself. Thanks to the help of Boy Scout Troop 81 and several community donations, the garden recently received eight new raised beds and two new flower beds. This brings the total number of beds in the school garden to 12, which school officials are hoping will provides enough space to begin supplementing the school’s lunchroom with fresh produce for the fall.

In May 2014, scouts and their dads came out to the school to help position the eight-by-four vegetable beds and two eight-by-two flower beds and fill them with topsoil and compost donated by Doug Oeder. LMIS school counselor Dawn Gasper, who is leading the garden project, then consulted with Rachel Tilford, LM’s food service director, and Darlene Oeder, LMIS kitchen manager, to determine what would be planted. Some of the things they considered were leaf lettuce, carrots, broccoli, cauliflower, potatoes, sweet potatoes, zucchini, sugar snap peas, Roma tomatoes, cucumbers, radishes, peppers and onion. Gasper is working with the Ohio State University Extension’s master gardener program, master gardener Mary Tholking and intern Kim Wright, who is also a Little Miami parent, to plant and tend the beds.

During a recent afternoon, a several students from Judy Todia’s and Louise Jordan’s sixth grade classes were joined by two members of the Little Miami Board of Education to plant the beds and prepare them for summer. Board president Bobbie Grice and member Randy Haas helped students measure out plant food and properly space a number of different plants. During the school year, the garden will serve as a classroom for sixth grade science. Using the Ohio Revised Standards and model curriculum, teachers at the Intermediate School can use the garden to study soil properties and composition.

Gasper said several local organizations have donated funds and made other contributions to the project. The Alpha Phi Chapter of Delta Kappa Gamma donated $400 dollars, which covered the expansion cost and gift certificates and assistance has come in from the LMIS P.T.O., Oeder Sand & Gravel, Lowes, Home Depot, Natorp’s Nursery, Alyson’s Gardens, Blooms & Berries, and The Black Barn. Volunteers are always need to help plant, weed and water the plants throughout the summer and harvest when students return in August. Contact Dawn Gasper at (513) 899-2334, extension 30409 or dgasper@littlemiamischools.com if you are interested in volunteering.

Keep up to date on garden activities on the Panther Patch blog.