Bluffton High School (Bluffton, SC) - Annie's Homegrown
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Bluffton High School (Bluffton, SC)

Bluffton High School (Bluffton, SC)

Bluffton High School’s Sustainable Outdoor Inquiry Learning Project (SOIL) is a small garden in which science students, special needs students, and the Environmental Club members compost, collect rainwater, and garden in raised beds built from recycled materials. SOIL plans to expand by adding a greenhouse made of recycled 2-liter bottles, additional raised beds, drip irrigation, and a vermicomposting center. SOIL gets kids growing real food using environmentally responsible approaches. The SOIL garden models sustainability through practice; it uses reclaimed shipping pallets, reused Coca Cola syrup drums-turned-rain barrels, and composting to ensure a sustainable closed loop. Teaching, then, combines hands-on experience with lessons in research and classroom activities and projects, needed to sustain healthy habits beyond an abstract lesson. SOIL challenges the current classroom model by getting students learning in a relevant environment. Beginning in 2016, the cafeteria will offer a salad bar purchase option for students and faculty, and SOIL plans to be a significant supplier of the fresh vegetables featured daily. Students will farm and feature their garden yield as real food choices. Also, school chefs have agreed to teach after-school cooking sessions using the garden’s fruits and vegetables. These sessions will be free to all. Students will concurrently read about and study the effect of food on the body while experiencing the joy of gardening.

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