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Teachers Keep Owen Middle Garden Growing
Teachers Keep Owen Middle Garden Growing
Posted on 04/01/2020
Ms. Kelsey Triplett (left) and Ms. Tracy Derreberry have been planting, watering, fertilizing, and weeding with the help of Owen’s grounds crew. On Monday, they checked on the kale, collards, strawberries, and the herb garden.By Tim Reaves
BCS Communications Department

Spring has sprung in the Charles D. Owen Middle School garden, and teachers are making sure students stay connected to their hands-on project while they learn from home.

Ms. Kelsey Triplett and Ms. Tracy Derreberry have been planting, watering, fertilizing, and weeding with the help of Owen’s grounds crew. On Monday, they checked on the kale, collards, strawberries, and the herb garden.

“We’re coming to check as often as we can to check on the garden,” Ms. Derreberry said. “We’re mowing, pulling weeds, and prepping in hopes that the students can help us harvest in the fall.”

The garden is a huge component of hands-on learning in their class. Students see where food comes from – seed to the table. They harvest some of the fruits and vegetables to learn about preparation and cooking. Others they let go to seed to study plant life cycles. The garden connects them to many valuable lessons.

“While watching as a worm burrows through wet leaves, the classroom lessons on decomposers and how the soil gets nutrients have come to life and will be more memorable,” Ms. Triplett said. “Seeing a rabbit eat the lettuce, we are instantly linked to the food web lesson. Students also learn focus and patience, cooperation, teamwork, and social skills. They gain self-confidence and realize they are more capable than they thought they could be.”

Students were lining the new raised beds to create a weed barrier the day before in-person instruction was suspended during the COVID-19 crisis. Ms. Triplett and Ms. Derreberry are planning to take photos and videos so their students can watch the growing process.

“I’m hoping we can show the kids what has been planted and the progress to keep them involved,” Ms. Triplett said. “We miss our students dearly and can’t wait to see them again and show them the garden they helped create.”

The garden is a community effort by the school’s Natural Impact Initiative, with seeds donated by Sow True Seed and assistance from the Extension Master Gardener Volunteers of Buncombe County.

Ms. Tracy Derreberry examines a plant. Ms. Kelsey Triplett  examines a plant.

Buncombe County Schools is in the process of reviewing its website to ensure compliance with Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act and Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act. Buncombe County Schools does not discriminate on the basis of sex in its education programs or activities and is required by Title IX of the Education Amendments Act of 1972 and federal regulations to not discriminate in such a manner. This requirement extends to admission and employment. Inquiries about the application of Title IX and its implementing federal regulations may be referred to the Title IX Coordinator and/or the Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights in the Office for Civil Rights at the U.S. Department of Education. The Title IX Coordinator's contact information is: Shanon Martin, shanon.martin@bcsemail.org, 828-255-5918, 175 Bingham Road, Asheville, NC 28806.

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