By CT Erickson, Harp Elementary School Service Site Supervisor
A year ago, 25 students and myself stood in the middle of our playground and imagined for the first time what a school garden could look like. We measured…researched…called any person we could get ahold of that possibly knew anything about vegetables. We spent hours scouring the internet for ideas and grants because I knew without a shadow of a doubt that a school garden would be the greatest thing for my students. A few months later, our dream became a reality. On March 15, 2013, 90 kids and four teachers planted the first ever Harp Elementary Community Garden. Our school garden was around 2500 square feet and housed 18 vegetables and six types of flowers. I watched the amazement on my student’s faces and the pride in their voices when they spoke intelligently to an inquiring adult about the difference between annuals and perennials or various vegetables.
I knew the garden was something I wanted to continue and grow so that it had the potential to reach the 650 students within our school and the parents and community members surrounding it. I had never gardened before and knew that I could never make the full impact I envisioned if I didn’t involve someone else. A few months after our garden was planted, a coworker asked if I had ever heard of FoodCorps. My answer was obviously no, but I was instantly intrigued. I went online and started reading everything I could about this organization. I knew within ten minutes that they would change the face of food education and I wanted to be as much a part of it as possible.