Experiential learning is a core part of Ashley Hall’s curriculum, and first graders tend a garden each year to enhance their study of a plant’s life cycle and what it needs to survive. While past efforts have yielded little because of shady growing conditions, this year Lower School faculty member Beth McCarty had a bright idea. For her students, success never tasted so sweet!

“This year we are trying rolling raised beds so we can move the plants to an optimal growing area with the right amount of sunlight,” noted McCarty. “A hands-on garden shows the students where their food comes from and how much time and energy goes into each bite of food they take! Now when students go to the grocery stores, they know how these fruits and vegetables got to the shelves. Hopefully it also encourages students to be less wasteful when eating meals.”

Having already planted strawberries, kale, broccoli, chives, lemon thyme, dill, basil, lima beans, and of course purple and white pansies, students eagerly anticipate eating from the garden year-round and changing the crops with the seasons. “They were all very excited about the strawberries,” emphasized McCarty. “One plant already has two strawberries and one flower about to become a strawberry. It is great for them to see the plant life cycle in action and then of course eat the end result!”