Harvest Time @ Maplewood

Research shows that gardening encourages children to eat healthier.
Research shows that gardening encourages children to eat healthier.
Maplewood students have been learning about sustainability and water conservation.
Maplewood students have been learning about sustainability and water conservation.
They also have been learning about the life cycles of plants, and the benefits of locally sourced foods.
They also have been learning about the life cycles of plants, and the benefits of locally sourced foods.
Mr. Fauci, back right, shows students proper harvesting techniques, collecting enough fresh vegetables for their own salad.
Mr. Fauci, back right, shows students proper harvesting techniques, collecting enough fresh vegetables for their own salad.
Students in Ms. Hatton and Mr. Fauci and Ms. McQueen's MW classes harvest vegetables from their classroom tower gardens.
Students in Ms. Hatton and Mr. Fauci and Ms. McQueen's MW classes harvest vegetables from their classroom tower gardens.
In Ms. Hatton's class, preparing a fresh salad is so rewarding when you grow your own vegetables. When you grow your own, you know just what you’re eating.
In Ms. Hatton's class, preparing a fresh salad is so rewarding when you grow your own vegetables. When you grow your own, you know just what you’re eating.

Tower gardens have made their way to Maplewood Intermediate School, and their popularity is growing throughout the district.  These unique garden towers provide teachers with excellent hands-on STEM learning for their students.  "It is the most cost-effective school garden aligned to academic outcomes one can ever imagine.  You can use it for a variety of subjects, including science, math, literacy and even art." said Maplewood fifth-grade teacher Mr. Fauci.  "Research shows that gardening encourages children to eat healthier. Students helped germinate the seeds and harvest the produce. The students have also been learning about sustainability, water conservation, the life cycles of plants, and the benefits of locally sourced foods." 

Other district teachers currently using tower gardens for STEM education are Ms. Rodrigues at Whitman; Ms. Workman at Countrywood; and Ms. Hatton and Ms. Ciccarelli also at Maplewood. The tower garden initiative began with the district's participation in the Cornell Cooperative Extension's Agriculture Literacy Academy this past fall. Participating teachers have received ongoing support through a relationship with the Three Village School District, which has been using tower gardens in the classroom for several years.