W.T. Machan Elementary School has been gardening since 2001. Teachers, community members, parents and students have worked together over the years to create a theraperutic garden, including edible garden planting beds, within our urban campus. Our community is now excited to create edible, portable gardens right next to our classrooms. Our teachers are ready to teach students how to successfully grow food in a portable garden space, connecting curriculum lessons that are meaningful to our urban dwelling students along the way.
W.T. Machan students live in small homes and apartments located in the urban center of Phoenix. Planting new edible gardens at school will provide students the opportunity to see food production through hands on activities. Students will be able to see how the process of small, sustainable gardening yields the taste (and nutrition) of quality food. Additionally, students will learn about soil preparation, planting and harvesting. The school’s teachers have gathered many ideas that will tie in the creation and planting of our new gardens to current curriculum.
Most specifically, the school is thrilled about nurturing a garden that produces seasonal salad and herb offerings. The faculty plans to invite chefs and gardeners as guest speakers to teach students about seasonal plants that taste great and are easy to grow. The school faculty plans to teach students awareness about farm-to-fork principles by drawing parallels between their gardens and commercial food production. While the W.T. Machan students already benefit from in-class breakfast and fresh fruit snacks on the daily, planting and harvesting a garden of their own will provide students greater opportunity to add nutrition (and flavor) to the meals they already eat.