Gardening takes root at DeMello School

May 23, 2023

Fourth and fifth grade students at DeMello Elementary School got their hands dirty planting native greenery in their new garden beds.

The goal of creating a DeMello garden is to connect what students learn in science classes to real life, Assistant Principal Adam Hill explained.

“This is the easiest way to maintain and connect to the science curriculum,” Hill said.

Sarah Lederman, lead education coordinator at Sharing the Harvest farm in Dartmouth, explained to the students that the plants selected for their gardens will withstand the threat of deer, they are relatively drought resistant and will be ready for harvest in the fall when students return.

Sharing the Harvest farm operates to grow food that is donated to combat nutritional insecurities in the community and to provide agricultural education.

Some students fully embraced the opportunity to take a hands-on approach.

For fifth grade student Rafael Lameiro “pushing the soil” was the best part, but taking the plant out of its plastic pot was the “hardest part.”

He added, “usually at this time it’s writing - we always have writing, so something new is always fun.”

Other students enjoyed the dirt and the plant selection. Fourth grade student Trever Carvalho was excited to plant lavender because said he has a multitude of lavender scented products at home.

“Once it fully grows, it is going to smell so good,” said Carvalho.

The project was made possible by donations from the school’s PTO which funded the supplies for two garden beds that were built by a parent, filled with soil donated by Ace Hardware and compost from Tom and Cindy Kirby.

The plants and instructions came courtesy of Sharing the Harvest Farm in Dartmouth.

The two garden beds have the potential to grow into an all encompassing program at the school.

“We would love to put in four more beds, or even more,” Hill said. “There is compost that is part of the curriculum, so we would love to connect it to the kitchen in some way.”

He said he hopes that in the future they can plant vegetables so students connect food to where it comes from.

Over the summer maintenance staff will water and keep an eye on the garden until students return and can take over again.