Near North Montessori pupils plan garden

Planning an East Village garden is part of this year's curriculum at Near North Montessori School, 1434 W. Division. Students in this project will describe their assignment at Monday's East Village Association meeting. The students' statement follows; learn more at 7 p.m. in the Happy Village, 1059 N. Wolcott.

We have volunteered to be part of our school’s gardening committee. We have been presented with the task of starting a school farm that will feed our school community and provide lessons for our classrooms about where our food comes from.

The Rappes, former grandparents in our school community, have allowed us to use their vacant lots on Wood Street as a site for our school farm.

Since we are going to be neighbors, we wanted to let you in on our plans.

We plan on growing food organically all four seasons, making our own compost, holding classes outdoors, creating a sustainable irrigation system, and building natural, perennial ecosystems for students to play in.

There will be a lot of work to do to create our garden space and we plan to start soon.

The first step we are taking to make our space work is cutting the trees down and leveling out the terrain so it is adequate for planting vegetables, fruit, herbs, etc. The wood from the trees will be milled locally and used to create benches and tables as well as part of our fencing. We will also be making wood bowls and plates for eating the prized fruits of our labor.

We will be saving and pruning the crabapple tree suckers to cultivate the true apple. We will also be saving and pruning the mulberry; hopefully in the future we will gather berries. We will also be building hoop houses so we can farm all year round. This way there will always be work and food to harvest from the garden.

If you have any questions at all, please contact one of our teachers, Paul Guilianelli or Anna Viertel.

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