Knights grow new garden


Suhas Konijeti

The outdoor education (outdoor ed) class is creating a new garden on the Independence High School (IHS) campus. 

Currently led by Ms. Kristy Guerrieri and Mr. Colt Klipfel, the outdoor ed classes will be constructing a garden full of fruits and vegetables of all sorts. The garden will produce greenery such as spinach, onions, okra, mint, sunflower, potato, beetroot, cactus and more. Representing the IHS spirit, the garden will also be planting purple salvia flowers.

“The school garden will hopefully become a valuable asset to the students and faculty by providing fresh grown fruits and vegetables,” Guerrieri said. 

Klipfel and Guerrieri had students examine the new location of the garden in late August. The students considered land space and natural shade before choosing the location.

The garden will be located south of the building, behind the football/ soccer field. (X is the location)

Hoping to provide shade to their crops, classes will be planting their yields under a tree. Planting under trees is ideal to sprout seeds, primarily because it is currently out of season to grow food-bearing plants. 

Three out of the five outdoor ed classes will be given wood to structure their garden, while the other two classes will be utilizing rocks to organize and adjoin their garden.

Students started germinating their seeds in pots recently. Until the seeds sprout, the pots will remain in the courtyard. Students are responsible for their own plants, making sure that they receive water daily. They will later transfer their seedlings into the garden once the seeds have fully germinated.

The pots can be found all over the courtyard growing different varieties of vegetation. It is asked that the pots are to be observed and not touched as to not harm growth at this time. 

Students have germinated their seeds, and are waiting for them to sprout while maintaining a daily watering schedule.

“The garden is going to be maintained by us every time we have class,” Aishwarya Adepu said. “Many of us will be utilizing seeds to grow our garden.” 

The class is eager to learn about growing crops, however, some are concerned about planting in a difficult location and managing a proper water cycle. 

Students began digging the perimeters of the garden and are excited to continue working on this project on August 26, 2021.

“The students will be building and maintaining the plants by tilling the earth and making room for the plants,” Guerrieri said. “This will teach the students responsibility and how to follow a step-by-step process.”

Students will maintain their plants until the spring reaping where they will harvest their plants and sell them on campus for everyone to enjoy.