A Moveable Feast: A Revival, a Donation . . . and a New Start?
*This post is one in a series, and the background story can be found here.
Though it seemed in 2021 that the school garden was done for, a handful of students surprised me that fall with their interest to rebuild it. By the time we returned from more than a year of virtual learning – from March 2020 until August 2021 – Mother Nature had reclaimed the two long in-ground beds, and school system had put a new padlock on the water hookup after would-be thieves cut mine. Those factors and the idea that we would be leaving the campus at the end of the school year disinclined me from renewing old efforts.
But in the fall, I had a senior come to me and ask if I would sponsor the school’s Interact Club. She had been elected the club’s president, but the other sponsor had left our school. One reason she was asking me was: she wanted the school garden to be the club’s service project. I was so happy to hear it! Interact Club is a youth service organization operated by the Rotary Club, so we got underway after we had a few initial meetings to gather new members.
However, the goal this time was different. With the approval of the club’s membership, I asked our school and system administrators if we could re-establish the garden and hand it over to the next occupants of our school building. The higher-ups coordinated, and they all said yes. Working only on our meeting days every other Wednesday afternoon, it would take most of the school year to uncover the beds, refill them with good soil, and prepare for the new owners to plant. Of course, there is a water spigot nearby. So, all they would need would be seeds or starters and some shovels and trowels.
Now, it’s early May, and the work is done. The two long tracts are tilled and replenished. I had the students in the club working away for several months with the hand tools we already owned. Then, in winter, I realized that the effort would need a boost, so I bought a small Honda tiller with my classroom money. Between the little gas-powered machine and the student-powered shovels and rakes, we got it done.
As for the future of the Moveable Feast, we don’t have a move-in date for our new campus yet, but the garden is primed and ready for whoever gets it next. For now, we’ll either cover the beds (so our work isn’t undone by Mother Nature) or we might plant a few things here at the very end, if the students want to. What can be done long-term, about a garden for BTW Magnet in the future— that remains to be seen. Maybe the Moveable Feast will have a third incarnation in yet another part of town in 2023.