If you had driven by Our Lady of the Wayside school the first week of June, you might have seen a beautiful sight: dozens of children gathered around the new vegetable garden beds filled with rich, dark soil, eagerly planting all manner of seeds and young seedlings.
The first “planting day” in the new Wayside garden was a day filled with excitement.
In the morning, Wayside headmaster John Jalsevac showed up with a van filled with bags of seeds, and plastic seedling starters filled with young tomato and pepper plants.
Then, early in the morning, a group of high-schoolers under high school science teacher Alice Hodge’s supervision used screws and twine to divide each of the raised beds into 1’x1′ squares. Each student in the school was allocated five such squares in which to plan whatever they wanted.
Wayside parent Carolyn Zadro, a gardening expert, helped the teachers, offering hands-on advice to children about how to plant different kinds of seeds and plants.
Throughout the day, the classes rotated through the garden, beginning with the grade 1-2 class. Children could barely wait to get outside for their turn to choose from a cornucopia of seeds and seedlings to place in their own squares.
The students also planted a variety of vining plants, including pumpkins, melons and squash, in a common space. Everybody pitched in to move giant mounds of woodchips to spread on the paths in between the beds.
Nowadays at recess various students can be seen wandering through the soft garden paths, checking out how things are growing in their own squares.
Various families have volunteered to help tend the garden over the summer. Here’s hoping that the rabbits and deer keep a distance, and we have a bountiful harvest come fall, just in time for our welcome-back BBQ!
Clearly, this is the beginning of something beautiful.