Kirby Students Reap the “Fruit” of Their Labor in First School Garden


Kirby Middle School students in Memphis turn a bare garden (left) into a plentiful bounty after months of caring for their fruits and veggies. Earlier this month they celebrated the ‘fruits’ of their labor with a Harvest Day (right).

In November, Kirby Middle School celebrated their first fall harvest with fresh vegetables from their on-campus Learning Garden. Built right on the school’s campus, the garden is a new way for students to learn about science and healthy foods.

The garden experience was created in partnership with the The Kitchen Community in Memphis—an organization dedicated to building healthy communities by connecting kids to fresh food—and their local Home Depot. The Kitchen Community built the garden to serve as an outdoor classroom for Kirby students and to create a sense of community around the cultivation of shared food.

Each season, students will be able to participate in the entire gardening process — from planting the seeds, to fostering plant growth, to final harvest. In September, students in Ms. Zaorski’s and Ms. Shepard’s classes planted various fruits and vegetables in the raised bed garden, and in November, each class anxiously awaited the opportunity to participate in the harvest, and students were finally able to pick their spinach, turnip greens and turnips, along with some peppers and basil.

Up next, Kirby students will work together to decide what they will plant for the spring planting season so they can continue to reap the benefits of their community garden.

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