Spring Hill Grows Up

bit.ly/springhillgrowsup

Learn about our STEAM program:

bit.ly/spring_hill_steam

Take a tour of the Spring Hill Garden! Details are related to the exploration of STEAM Gardening at the University of West Georgia IT Forum in Spring, 2018.

We are here for families. To serve the whole family we must grow together. Gardening is a medium where we can do life together. The family is the foundation and garden pursuits can lead to sustained inroads for many levels of growth and learning. Creativity, vigor, commitment, trust, and relationships will hold us together as a community and as a school ~ this makes the outcome a win-win.

The school garden is a year round initiative to produce plants and vegetables for the families of Spring Hill. Growing up is a principle and, just as we are born as seeds and are nurtured to produce fruit, the labor of love is ongoing and necessary to help honor and create experiences for community. The garden is physically and figuratively of primary importance so that we collide with those who dig and plant during the season of life we at Spring Hill have in connection with students and their families. Each student is a branch from a family. The fruit may not become mature until later, but the unavoidable lessons from being a caretaker of these seedlings is reciprocal. One day, these plants will be mature and become fruitful collaborators in the society we are all growing up in.

Included through this site are the phases of our garden development process and progress.

For additional information, contact Jeff Eller (Email: eller.jeff@mail.fcboe.org or Google Number: 678.561.4382). Also, follow the progress on Instagram @spring_hill_leadership (@ellerjeff) Twitter @springhillsuns (@jellerlearning) and on Facebook @SHESUNS.

SHES_Garden / Media Help_TO DO_Summer 2017

Timeline:

  • Fall 2016:
    • Contacts between leadership of Fayette County Master Gardeners and school. Idea of school garden presented by ESOL teacher and Media Specialist.
  • Spring 2017:
    • Land cleared and raised beds installed.
    • Soil placed in beds.
    • Classes begin planting.
    • Systematic use of garden.
    • Community discussion of global agriculture and established relationships with Fayette County High School and the University of Georgia.
    • Exploration of irrigation, aquaponics, vermiculture, and square foot gardening to increase yield and production potential.
    • Development of STEAM curriculum and school integration (with) community partners.
  • Summer 2017:
    • Organic pest management and strategic harvesting of crops
    • Planning for STEAM integration for the new school year ... more information to come in the near future!
    • Increased involvement from local Boy Scouts that includes some innovative Eagle Scout Projects to include and expanded rain barrel system, a hydroponic growing system, and an extension of the school garden that includes two 20x5 raised beds outside of the courtyard.
  • Fall 2017:
    • Attention to crop rotation and frost dates to plan forward for planting and growth for maximum yield.
    • Eagle Scout project integration and implementation into the courtyard and school yard areas to include raised bed gardens, expanded hydroponics, and rain catchment systems.
    • Implementation of the STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, Math) curriculum school wide with a focus on the Junior Master Gardener curriculum.
    • Presenting about gardening and STEAM at the Georgia Organics Farm to School summit.
    • Tying in with the city of Fayetteville in future planning to provide a learning environment for student and adult education.
    • Working with the school health and nutrition services to gain gold status and state recognition through the Golden Radish Award.
  • Fall 2018:
    • WIGS (Wildly Important Goals)
      • Establish a monthly progression or planting, tending, harvesting (to work within STEAM programming)
      • Focus on partnering plants together for a measure of permaculture and planting to establish a sustainable space
      • Create a showcase of learning (outdoors) to invite both teachers and students to participate in the space design and function
      • Add vitality and interest through color and display of habitat structures, whimsical design, and color palettes that induce wonder and inquiry
      • Increase awareness of waste production and the importance of composting and vermicompost
    • Revitalize the courtyard:
      • Move all compost / vermicompost to the back garden (outside of the courtyard)
      • Prune Japanese Maples ~ manageable size
      • Tend to the aquaponic and hydroponic systems for productive and aesthetic utilization
        • cycles of growth
        • slope of system
        • safety management
      • Section the courtyard out (Media > SAIL: 1) outdoor classroom 2) raised bed and water catchment 3) hydroponics / aquaponics
      • Establish window areas for planting where classes can tend to a particular crop or special planting
      • Add solar and timers to the courtyard area and outdoor garden to manage rainwater catchment and distribution