At the Tighe School in Margate, students and their families are cultivating their knowledge about sustainability, and putting roots down in the community, by growing a vegetable garden. The garden was started in 2006 by a local restaurateur and community activist, and was awarded a grant by the New Jersey Agricultural Society. A group of volunteers came together to transform the Tighe School courtyard into a working vegetable garden.
The garden boasts numerous planting beds, growing vegetables and herbs, as well as fruits such as blueberries, strawberries and figs. There is also a Peace Garden, with a water feature, a relaxation bench, and a peace post bearing the message, “May Peace Prevail on Earth” in four languages.
Margate students and families do the work: planting the seeds, weeding, watering, composting, and finally harvesting produce. Some of the produce is enjoyed by students during lunch periods. Other crops are taken to the Margate Community Farmers Market, where they are sold to patrons for a monetary donation to the Community Food Bank of South Jersey.
Children offer tours of the garden as well, using a script that sums up the sentiments of the garden:
“My name is …. and I would like to welcome you to the Margate Schools Garden. Even though the garden is located here in the Tighe School courtyard, it belongs to the children and families of the entire school district.”
Contact: Jessica Cuevas, teacher, firstname.lastname@example.org
Recipient of 2012 Garden of the Year Award from the New Jersey Farm-to-School Network