By Mark Boshnack
The Daily Star
---- — A garden has sprouted at Gilbertsville Mount-Upton Central School, thanks to the efforts of Elementary Student Council members in grades 3-5 and their community, a coordinator of the effort said.
This was first suggested last year through the council suggestion box, its advisor Alicia Cummings said.
With the help of community members, and area support, 13 student council members were able to plant the winter squash earlier this month, at no cost to the district. Classrooms started the seeds last month.
They are also growing three varieties of potatoes on the 50-feet-by-50-feet plot below the track. It turned out to be harder than planned, but with community support they ended up bringing in loads of topsoil and manure to compensate, Cummings said.
The rains prevented students from putting up a fence around the plot, so some squash will have to be replanted. They worked on weekends and after school starting in May, helped by a number of staff and parents.
It’s an important addition, because “it gives students the opportunity to see what goes into the food we eat.”
All food will go the cafeteria. This will save the school money and reduce the carbon footprint. She was really pleased the community came forward with donations of money and materials. “It was really nice to see students working together with students from other grade levels.”
Superintendent Glenn Hamilton said the project brings together school and community to promote healthy lifestyles. He knew when Cummings, a fifth grade teacher discussed the project it would be successful. “She is a strong teacher — any project she tackles will be brought to fruition.”
Volunteers are being sought to help with watering and weeding, especially over the summer months. Anyone wanting to help can call Cummings at 783-2207 or email at email@example.com.