Winter Dreams of Mountain Sprouts

It may not be the most conventional time for planting, but Mountain Sprouts is taking root! We are excited to share the developments that have taken place, marking the official launch of our much-anticipated gardening program, Mountain Sprouts!

 An impressive 8×12 cedar raised garden bed that offers ample space for students to freely explore has been constructed at Emmalena Elementary School. Mountain Sprouts is focusing on helping student make healthy choices using this garden as a platform to teach about the importance of good nutrition.

Students wasted no time getting their hands into the soil as soon as the raised bed was filled. They chose to plant garlic, known for its resilience and overwintering. Dressed in their Halloween costumes as Chucky, a police officer, and a cowgirl, they dug in and began planting. In the midst of the playful planting, one student giggled, thankfully, that no one had chosen a vampire costume. Each student held a head of garlic and separated the bulbs for planting, using their senses to explore the clove. They were given directional sheets and various tools to understand the aspects of growing garlic, such as proper spacing and planting depth. This hands-on experience led to lively discussions about the endless possibilities of not only growing, but cooking with garlic and the nutritional value it can provide to them.

Summer might seem distant, but the garden doesn’t rest during these colder months. Instead, it becomes a perfect opportunity for students to plot and plan their garden. Equipped with notebooks and a sense of adventure, our students will carefully select crops that pique their interest–ones they are not only eager to grow, but also excited to savor. Encouraged to step outside their comfort zones, the Mountain Sprouts are ready to cultivate not just a garden but an exploration of new experiences and flavors.

As a farmer and home chef, it’s fascinating for me to discover that only a fraction of our students have seen or touched a garlic clove, a plant known for its versatility and significant role in promoting good nutrition. This unfamiliarity adds an extra layer of excitement to our program, offering opportunity to explore the beauty and potential of this common yet versatile plant. Not only does it contribute to their gardening experiences, but it also plays a crucial role in fostering good nutrition.

Follow along with us for a year of exploration and shared discoveries, as there’s much more growing beneath the soil!