His students will select the plants they want to grow from Slow Food's Ark of Taste, make their own compost to build the soil, and water the seedlings with rain they harvest with the school's rain barrel.
Slow Food Columbia board member Jamie Browder teaches at Meadowfield Elementary School. His PreK class is at work on restoring seven raised bed gardens, using the square foot method inspired by Mel Bartholomew.
"This week, we will pull the weeds and replenish the soil with compost. Next week, we'll order seeds from the Ark of Taste website," Jamie says. "The seedlings will be planted by October."
"The vision for the garden areas is to create spaces where young children can grow "at-risk" foods with sustainable methods from our ecoregion," he says. That's why he's calling it "The Preservation Garden."
It's the first phase of a bigger garden Jamie envisions creating, with the support of Slow Food Columbia. Collaborating with Slow Food board member Keith Mearns, a horticulturalist at Historic Columbia, Jamie would like to see the project grow to include Herbemont grape vines and a garden structure. We'll be posting updates on our website, if you'd like to know how you can be involved.
Slow Food USA's National School Garden Program provides a number of resources for school garden enthusiasts, including how-to guides and curricula. You can find those here.