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Gardening efforts underway in big way


The story on the east side of South High is amazing to see in photos, but it's all owed to an incredible dedication of time, effort and community-building spearheaded by science teacher Susan Peterson. 

Adding to the excitment is news that South will be participating in the Garden to Cafeteria program next year. This means our produce will end up in our cafeteria and on the menu of school lunch choices here at South!

Ms. Peterson was joined this year by:

  • Jeff Ponto, who garnered grant funding from the University of Minnesota through his summer participation in the University's Citizen Scientist program.
  • Jim Barnhill and students, who made seed tape, dug up grass and cleaned up.
  • Tiffany Giese and students, who cleaned up.
  • Kate Rosok and students, who uncovered soil and provided muscle with the rototiller
  • Anne Marie Plante, who provided soaker hoses.
  • Kate Allebach, who provided stepping stones for students to design the pollinator garden.
  • Chris Behringer, a local lanscape architect who worked with Allebach's AVID students in designing the pollinator/perennial garden.
  • The South High Foundation, which provided grant funds for the garden expansion.
  • Students, family (Sue's own mother) and community and staff volunteers who were not afraid to get dirty!

The year began with the financial backing, as mentioned, with grants from the University of Minnesota and the South High Foundation. 

Folks got their hands dirty, cleaining, digging, tilling and hauling 10 yards of garden soil and 10 yards of composting.

Meantime, students in Ms. Allebach's AVID class worked with landscape architect Chris Behringer of Behringer Design in planning the expanded garden landscape, while also taking into account the plantings.

Through wind, rain and sun, the grounds have taken shape. Most recently, Melisanda Tucker and Cheng Vang were seen planting onions in the hay bales at the north end of the gardens.

In the fall, students will be trained in harvesting. Those efforts will get the garden yield to the South High cafeteria!