Students in the Southview Community School’s Garden Club are preparing for their inaugural plant sale, after months of growing.
The club began four years ago but was put on pause with the pandemic. Since its reintroduction this year, the club has been a hit with students from kindergarten to Grade 6. More than 50 students have joined the club, which runs twice weekly after school.
Club organizer and educational assistant, Shelly Lagren, says she was surprised by the turnout but glad to see students enjoying themselves.
“COVID kind of took everything away, so all the after-school activities were gone. It definitely makes a difference,” Lagren told the News. “One student said to me, ‘I love working in the dirt. It’s so peaceful.’ I was just so touched. It was such a beautiful thing to say.”
Students in the club learn about plants and the growing cycle through hands-on activities. They also learn how to care for the plants as they grow, an activity Lagren feels encourages responsibility.
“They all have their own plant they initially planted and they have been keeping track of the growth,” Lagren said. “I would say probably half of the kids come every day at lunch or recess to check on their plants and make sure they’re still good.”
Fifth grader Ari Willson enjoys watering the plants and ensuring they get enough daily sun.
“I thought it would be fun because I like gardening,” Willson said. “My mom really loves gardening, too, and my grandma. My whole family does.”
The club has had such success sprouting a variety of plants, including flowers, vegetables and fruits, one room in the school has been transformed into a mini greenhouse.
Many of the plants grown by club members will be planted in the school’s private garden and yard. However due an excess, the club will be hosting a plant sale Thursday from 3-4 p.m. on the school’s tarmac, which the public is welcome to attend.
Lagren says the focus of the sale is not on profit, rather on allowing students the chance to showcase months of work and share their passion for gardening with the wider community.
KENDALL KING, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Medicine Hat News