BOLINGBROOK – Humphrey Middle School students will be eating lettuce and radishes from their own edible garden before the first snow falls this winter.
A grant from the Valley View School District Nutrition Services Department allows Humphrey to become the third school – following Tibbott Elementary and Jane Addams – to have an edible garden. Three other schools will soon follow suit, according to district officials.
“Eighty percent of what grows in this garden will actually be served in our cafeteria,” said 6th grade special education math teacher Michelle Stiff, co-coordinator of the Humphrey Edible Garden Committee.
“Ultimately our vision is for us to be able to use the garden for teaching and meeting areas,” added fellow coordinator Mary Kuliavas, an 8th grade special education language arts teacher.
Construction on the 25x50 foot plot, located on the south side of the school, begins at 9 a.m. Saturday when Humphrey staff members, led by the garden committee, hope to build six 4x6 foot raised beds of varying heights.
On Saturday, Sept. 14, Humphrey officials are asking community members to assist in filling the beds, laying the mulch and placing the tree stumps that will serve as seats in the garden.
“We don’t have enough tools to get this done, so we’re asking anyone who comes to bring some tools too,” Stiff said. “Any parent and community support we can get would be great.”
Once the beds are prepared, the lettuce and radish seeds will go in right away in an effort to beat the first frost.
This winter, the school’s science classes will plant a wide variety of vegetables and spices inside and watch them grow, waiting for the right moment to transplant them into the garden next spring.
Anyone interested is helping with the construction of the Humphrey edible garden should call 630-972-9240.