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Salmo Learning Garden committed starts planting seeds for 2012

by Nyree Marsh
The Nelson Daily Contributor


Spring may seem far off with fields still covered in snow but gardeners are starting to plan for the coming growing season — and the Salmo Elementary Community Learning Garden Committee is no exception.

The Learning Garden committee resumed meetings earlier this month to create a plan for the long term management of the gardens.

The Salmo Elementary Community Learning Garden was started with help from committee members Tawni Bartisch, Jackie Jonkheid, and Linda Kassels.

In 2011 volunteers built beautiful raised beds and grew strawberries, annual vegetables, and a cover crop of buckwheat. Each stage of the growing process provides learning opportunities for Salmo Elementary students.

Projects for this year include elevating community involvement and fund raising for a gazebo. Committee members also plan to write a comprehensive manual for future generations of teachers and school children to knowledgeably continue the project.

The gardens will be maintained by organic methods and plants will be selected for   edibility, space efficiency, and proper crop rotation. Garden beds will also be planted with native and floral species that will attract butterflies and hummingbirds.

In addition to the school Learning Garden the committee plans to further promote sustainable food systems and home gardening through workshops. These workshops will be taught by local gardeners and farmers and will be available to the community of Salmo.

The Learning Garden is already a popular space with the young students, and the committee is hoping the inspiration provided by Salmo Elementary will catch on with other schools in the Kootenays.