Horticulture

Overview

We strive to help our students connect to nature and the environment through a variety of ways. In recent years, the leading method has been through gardening in our Horticulture Program. MSA’s Horticulture Program has officially been in existence since 2010. Ms. Jenna Patch started the program with the donation of a 30’ x 50’ greenhouse located on campus. In it we have seven 4’ x’ 8’ raised beds and irrigation. It has been used exclusively for our gardening program. In the fall of 2016, MSA’s students designed and installed a .3-acre fruit orchard complete with apples, pears, guava, scuppernongs, muscadine, hardy kiwi, blackberries, blueberries, and raspberries. All of these plants are healthy and happily establishing their root systems for the day our students can reap the reward of all their hard work! In 2016, we realized that much of the gardening was being done by MSA’s middle school students while remaining community members did not have an opportunity to participate. This year we have made the jump and incorporated our gardening curriculum in Lower Elementary with plans to include all levels Pre-K to HS!

 

Through the years our program has gained momentum to the program currently in place. Students have installed gardens in many parts of campus to include: the greenhouse, field house gardens, Lower Elementary, Upper Elementary, and a .3 acre fruit orchard.

What We Do

MSA’s Horticulture Program strives to do the following:

  • Provide healthy produce for our community

  • Teach students responsibility through planning, implementation and maintenance of a garden program.

  • Help students to explore the environment through hands-on experiential education

  • Learn gardening techniques for South Carolina

What age groups are involved?

Currently, students from lower elementary to high school are given the opportunity to participate in Horticulture class during their years at Montessori.

Lower Elementary students have Horticulture class every Monday for 45 minutes. During this time students learn: how plants grow, plant life cycles, mapping and surveying, gardening, seed starting, plant care, to try different types of vegetables, basic carpentry, and more. During the fall of 2017 Lower Elementary students planned and built the first ever garden behind their classroom!

 

In Upper Elementary we are currently developing a program to implement spring 2018.

 

Middle School students have horticulture class once a week for an hour. Students apply for leadership positions within the program such as, Farm Manager and Business Manager. Students hold these positions for one school year. Student managers develop weekly work plans in addition to long term planning and budgeting. Students also plan and implement plant sales throughout the year. Their most popular plant sale occurs in the spring with season appropriate vegetable, herb, and flower plants.

Community Involvement
  • Our communities families have made a large contribution to the Horticulture program through volunteer efforts, supplies and  in-kind monetary donations.

  • 2017 - Sun Gro Horticulture, Anderson, SC - growing medium donations

  • 2017 - Scotts/Miracle Gro Foundation - GRO1000 Grassroots Grant to expand and initiate a school wide gardening program

  • 2016 - SC DHEC - Champions of the Environment Merit Award to start a school-wide composting program

  • 2016 - GrowJourney - Seeds of the month club, Greenville, SC  - donation of heirloom organic vegetable seeds

  • 2015 - Sun Gro Horticulture, Anderson, SC - growing medium donation

  • 2015 -  in partnership with AU Enactus Organization, we received a grant from the Lowe’s Community Improvement Project. This grant enabled us to add storage shelves and a workbench for our students as well as trowels, pruners, gloves, cultivators, shovels, rakes and hoes.

  • 2011 - Welch’s Garden Grant worth $250.00 that consisted of a two-tiered raised bed, potting soil, seeds, journals and a youth gardening textbook.

  • 2010 - The Montessori School of Anderson’s “Fund in Need” (annual school and community funding drive) raised enough money to finance the purchase of plastic covering for our hoop house

  • 2010 - The frame of our hoop house was donated by a community business owner, supportive of our vision.

How to get involved

The community involvement branch of the Horticulture program is MSA’s Garden Club. If you are interested in supporting MSA’s gardening efforts in any way please contact the horticulture group at horticulture@msasc.org.

Thank you!

© 2015 by Montessori School of Anderson. All rights reserved.

DSS # 14, 415

SCISA Accredited

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