Green thumbs and green spaces are growing across the Uplift network thanks to a partnership with Uplift Luna Secondary and Deep Ellum Urban Gardens. Led by eighth-grade science teacher, Jonathan Greening, scholars will be tending to raised garden beds right in the middle of Deep Ellum, a historic art and music neighborhood east of downtown Dallas . Conveniently located next to the farmers market, these budding farmers have inspiration in spades.
Scholars will be tending to two raised garden beds year round, overcoming obstacles such as weather and insects to see their plants flourish and grow. Mr. Greening said he’s very excited to see what this means for his scholars. He has already received plenty of positive reactions.
“The scholars are really excited at the prospect of growing something that they can touch, smell and ultimately eat. I think that from this hands-on experience, the scholars are truly going to learn while being invested. This will also offer an opportunity to teach responsibility- because ultimately, what grows there will be because they took care of it.” said Mr. Greening.
Scholars will be working on their garden through to the end of the school year. So far, they have planted various herbs and hearty winter vegetables such as carrots, radishes, lettuce, spinach and arugula. They chose these particular vegetables because they grow best in the winter. Mr. Greening plans to walk the scholars through the various phases of gardening, teaching them important horticultural principles along the way. Scholars will learn how to build a garden hood to keep the plants warm through the winter, design a trellis for climbing vegetables, and learn about different types of non-traditional gardening.
“In our day and age a lot of us live in cities, there is not a lot of green space anymore so it’s important that scholars are able to create their own green spaces. Somewhere that they can grow fruits and vegetables and learn what it means to connect with that part of humanity,” says Mr. Greening.
This garden will provide plenty of hands-on, experiential learning opportunities. Scholars will learn about an array of disciplines ranging from the natural and social sciences, math, visual arts and nutrition. This varied range of disciplines will give scholars a connection to nature in this concrete filled world and inspire environmental stewardship.