The school garden plan takes shape | New

For months, Baldwin County School District officials planned to set up a school garden aimed at enriching agricultural education for students.

This plan is really starting to take shape now that the Baldwin County School Board received a blueprint for the school garden during its recent retirement. A’Keti Mayweather, the school district wellness coordinator who was hired full time in January to lead the School Garden Learning Lab project, gave a presentation at the retreat that drew a lot of attention. enthusiasm on the part of the board members.

The Union-Recorder spoke with Mayweather on Wednesday to get an up-to-date look at what’s going on with the project right now. She said she met with local master gardeners and representatives from Georgia College’s sustainability office on Tuesday to get their views on the proposed design.

“They came to look at the design and make sure that what we have is something achievable and doable given the landscape we currently have,” said Mayweather.

The space is located on the property of Baldwin High School, right next to the College and Career Academy wing of the building. It was cleared last fall to make room for the garden and the slopes far enough away from the building, which makes erosion a high probability. Mayweather said the design should take slope into account, as the plan currently is to use plants that grow on a trellis – like green beans and blackberries – so they can take root in the soil and hopefully the, control erosion.

Going up the slope towards the secondary school, the current proposed design foresees the installation of raised beds in the middle part of the garden to again take account of this erosion. Row gardens will be used at the top of the property where space is the flattest.

“These are there so that our young people can be exposed only to the traditional methods of gardening that the farmers who feed us all use,” said Mayweather.

Jon Jackson of local Comfort Farms designed the school garden after walking around the property. He sketched it out and the Wellness Coordinator turned it into an electronic document.

Mayweather was recruited by the school district’s nutrition department part-time last summer. His position was, and still is, oriented towards integrating nutrition into the classroom in an educational way.

Next steps for the project include board approval of the design and locking in a budget. Mayweather said she hopes the design will be finalized this week or early next week so that the BOE can give its approval on Tuesday at its regular monthly meeting. The goal is to have at least the row gardens planted and a fence installed (to keep the critters out) by the end of the school year. According to the Wellness Coordinator, the Baldwin County School District is working with Georgia Power and its foundation to install this fence as they are currently in an application process.

“I think this would be a great opportunity,” BOE District 3 member Lyn Chandler said of the school garden project at a meeting in September 2018. “I’ve spoken to a number of partners community, and it would be something that we could use to involve the community in our school system and also to provide a public service not only by using the products in our own schools, but also to help families in the community also with the programs. food bank.

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