In the spring of 2020 The Joseph School expanded the size of its garden, adding more types of vegetables, focusing on the orchard, and testing the soil. Now, over a year later, our garden has provided many valuable experiences for our students and staff.
The garden began as an educational tool for our students. Gardening is a useful skill that teaches our students responsibility, decision making, team work, and how to use and care for their natural resources. Through their experience with the TJS garden, our students will know and understand the steps to create at-home gardens.
Beyond the educational benefits, gardening and producing our own food is financially advantageous. Our garden can provide hunger relief and necessary nutrients for our school of over 200 students and a team of 60. Using the harvests from the garden promotes health and wellness by supplying our students with fresh, natural and unprocessed foods. Nutrition has always been a part of the student sponsorship program at The Joseph School. Now that the garden has continued to grow, we are so excited for our students to reap the benefits of fresh fruits and vegetables in their daily meals.
Additionally, the garden has already started to alleviate some of the costs associated with providing meals for the school; and we are excited by the prospect of growing our crop to not only provide for our school, but the surrounding community as well.
During Summer 2021, we saw our first community garden event with the harvest of over 900 watermelons! TJS students, their families and members of our local community all came to campus to help harvest the watermelons and partake in a massive melon feast. We feel incredibly humbled and blessed that the garden has given our students the opportunity to see firsthand how their hard work can help not only themselves but those around them.
Furthermore, our garden is helping our team develop a seed library, for our specific terrain. The past year has allowed us to test various seeds and determine which can be harvested and replanted this year and for years to come. Our most successful crops have been coconuts, plantains and bananas, corn, cucumber, watermelon, beans and sweet potatoes.
Gardening is a great tool to teach our students hard-work, dedication and resourcefulness. We feel so blessed for the generosity of our donors who made this project possible. Be sure to check out our social media pages to catch updates and more photos from our garden.
If you would like to support the garden project at The Joseph School, please donate here.