Trinidad Elementary is blessed with a beautiful greenhouse which was made possible by a group of parents several years ago. In that greenhouse Ms. Leuck and students start most all plants for the vegetable/flower garden from seed. Students learn to fill pots with potting soil, plant seeds at the appropriate depth, and transplant starts into the garden. Students spend the cold winter months working in the greenhouse, and looking forward to spring when their starts can be planted into the warm garden soil. They dig for worms in the “worm fort,” turn the compost in the bins, and dig the composted soil back into the garden. They shovel horse manure, pull weeds, build bamboo teepees for the peas and beans, and plant young fruit trees. They harvest kale and lettuce, onions and garlic, broccoli and herbs for the school kitchen. In the fall they dig for potatoes and pick tomatoes to contribute to the lunch menu. Second graders release the butterflies they’ve raised from the classroom into the garden to help pollinate plants. They also release ladybugs in the greenhouse to keep aphid populations under control. Upper grade students pick herbs and veggies to spice up their recipes in Home Ec. The photography students frequently use the garden as a focus for their photos and Ms.Thao brings her art classes into the garden for inspiration. The eighth graders bring their strength and knowledge to the garden to help with heavy tasks, while the primary students have become quite skilled at the planting table.
We also have a rain garden which features two swales that fill with water directed from the downspouts from the rain gutters on the roof. This garden holds three Huegel Kulture mounds which are planted with blueberries, raspberries, osaberries, and huckleberries. In addition to the berries, we also have a variety of native plants in our rain garden.
Our gardens are productive and fun and beautiful. They provide a place where we smile and learn and feel happy. Our gardens are a reality due to the energy of the students and the support of TSEF, the staff, parents, and our local community. We have received very generous donations from the Saunders Family, Gardner and Bloome, Wes Greene Landscape, Northern Horticulture Supply, Lindquist Landscapes, and Samora Native Plant Nursery.
“To plant a garden is to believe in tomorrow”.