Edison Middle School students bringing in harvest

Community garden produces bumper crop

Photo by Michael Erb
Edison Middle School sixth-grader Trenton Byrd, left, and eighth-graders Logan Ford, center left, Hayden Coull, center right, and Caleb Lucas, right, begin harvesting cabbage Friday at the school’s student-run community garden.

Photo by Michael Erb Edison Middle School sixth-grader Trenton Byrd, left, and eighth-graders Logan Ford, center left, Hayden Coull, center right, and Caleb Lucas, right, begin harvesting cabbage Friday at the school’s student-run community garden.

PARKERSBURG — Edison Middle School’s community garden has seen a bumper crop this summer, and students are hurrying to bring in the harvest.

A group of middle schoolers were digging up potatoes Friday as well as picking squash, zucchini, tomatoes and cabbage. All said they were surprised at how much the garden has produced, considering this was the first full season for them and the crops.

“I thought there was going to be a smaller amount then what we have, not as big,” said eighth-grader Caleb Lucas.

“We’ve gotten a lot, especially from the tomatoes and zucchini,” said eighth-grader Hayden Coull.

Officials said crops of green and banana peppers as well as sweet potatoes will be harvested next month. Students will begin working on growing mums to sell as a fundraiser for the garden, and this fall and winter will grow seedlings in an on-site greenhouse to be planted in the spring.

Photo by Michael Erb
Edison Middle School sixth-grader Trenton Byrd picks tomatoes Friday in the school’s community garden.

Photo by Michael Erb Edison Middle School sixth-grader Trenton Byrd picks tomatoes Friday in the school’s community garden.

Principal Jean Mewshaw said the gardening class is part of the school’s STEM program, which stands for science, technology, engineering and mathematics. Students learn about science and engineering through hands-on projects, such as building and maintaining the school’s community garden.

Mewshaw said several of the crops have brought in multiple harvests, and the school gave away vegetables at it’s Aug. 15 open house.

“We put all of our vegetables on a table at open house and it was open to everyone,” Mewshaw said.

The students also sold plants at the open house to raise money for the garden.

The students also have distributed vegetables in the community and plan to give away more as the year goes on.

Photo by Michael Erb
Edison Middle School eighth-grader Hayden Coull holds a container while classmate Logan Ford picks zucchini Friday in the school’s community garden. The students will be growing and selling mums this fall to raise money for the garden program.

Photo by Michael Erb Edison Middle School eighth-grader Hayden Coull holds a container while classmate Logan Ford picks zucchini Friday in the school’s community garden. The students will be growing and selling mums this fall to raise money for the garden program.

“We’ll have neighbors come to look at the garden and we’ll send them home with vegetables,” Mewshaw said.

Though supervised and helped with the more technical aspects, such as building and powering the greenhouse, Mewshaw said the garden is primarily run by students.

“They did it all. We just let them,” she said. “That’s how they learn.”

Eighth-grader Logan Ford said the best part has been giving back to neighbors and others in the community.

“It’s awesome knowing that this helps people who might not have a garden, or the space to build a garden,” he said. “It’s mindblowing to know you can help people like this.”

Photo by Michael Erb
Edison Middle School sixth-grader Trenton Byrd, left, holds up a squash he and eighth-grader Caleb Lucas, right, picked Friday in the school’s community garden. The garden is primarily run by students and is part of the school’s STEM program.

Photo by Michael Erb Edison Middle School sixth-grader Trenton Byrd, left, holds up a squash he and eighth-grader Caleb Lucas, right, picked Friday in the school’s community garden. The garden is primarily run by students and is part of the school’s STEM program.

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