By MyKel Hardy
Ms. Mabe and a couple of volunteer students are building a keyhole garden in the 100 building courtyard.
People have been seen in the middle of the 100 building digging. Students have never noticed it was the keyhole garden.
It is called a “keyhole” garden because of its similar shape to a keyhole to a door.
In the middle of the keyhole garden is the key hole where elevated growing style is presented, and it helps plants grow easier when there is not a lot of sunlight.
The keyhole garden will be made up of a couple main components. It will have vegetables for the school’s pantry, so students will actually be eating fresh fruits and vegetables from 100 building.
It will also be partly an outdoor classroom; the area will be available to teachers to bring their students so they can have class outside. It will bring a new learning environment and students will have fun not being locked in a classroom for an hour and a half.
There will be a pond so that birds, fish and others animals will be able to hang out in their own natural environment and they might even lay their eggs and make it their home here at Garinger. The pond will begin with goldfish and later they will add other types of fish.
You may be asking what will actually be grown in the keyhole garden. Well, luckily I asked Ms. Mabe that exact question and the garden will be growing carrots, onions, broccoli, cabbage and other tasty veggies.
Another question I asked was what kind of wildlife this garden will bring to Garinger?
Ms. Mabe answered that it will bring different species of birds and insects.
Right now students have been putting in a lot of work farming and gardening around the school .I personally have seen students in the 100 building keyhole garden. While some students use this time to lounge around and get out of class, there are some steady contributors that want to make Garinger a better place and give this school a better reputation.
Traditonally Garinger has had a bad reputation but the garden is a way to bring positive press to us.
If you want to help on the new keyhole garden or just are at the school, head over to Ms. Mabes office in the 100 building.
A team of students and volunteers is recreating last year’s garden into a new project that includes a garden club, urban farm and improvements to the greenhouse.
Ms. Mabe is our new leader of the garden. Last year, Ms. Hendee created the garden and started a garden club where students joined to help plant, water and pick vegetables. During this summer, she moved to Durham, NC.
This year, the Garden Club is changing the whole concept of what the old student garden used to be. The student garden is located behind the baseball field on the left corner, where there were crops such as cabbage, onion, lettuce, tomatoes and herbs growing near the greenhouse last year. Over the summer, the garden was not taken care of, which led it to be overgrown.
The intention for this year’s garden is to build eight 4X8 foot raised beds instead of rows and place hoop houses on top of the raised beds during winter. It is hard to maintain the plants in rows because some people may confuse the vegetables pants with the weeds. Ms.Mabe said that raised beds will make it easier for planting and limit the space for plants to grow. They will build more raised beds as needed.
Students have already begun working with the remaining food this semester. They picked apples and made applesauce. In addition, they want to plant new fruits like grapes, pears, and figs that can be preserved.
Behind the baseball field and to the right of the greenhouse are two poles standing beside two concrete slabs. That area was going to be a shot put platform for the track and field team, but now the plans are for a nearly 2 acre farm. The Friendship Garden Urban Farm will include four 40X40 foot sections of plants and vegetables. A shed will be built between the two poles, and the concrete pads will be a washing area for tools and plants. CPCC students and professors are will build a solar panel for lighting and a rainwater collection area to save water for plants.
Friendship Gardens is an organization that has community farms and volunteers who either grow food in their yard or work in a community garden, like the one being created at Garinger. There are more than 50 in Charlotte.
The food is donated to Friendship Trays, which prepares and delivers meals for those who cannot prepare their own food, such as the elderly. Friendship Gardens received a $75,000 grant from Wells Fargo, for two years to establish the urban farm at Garinger.
Meanwhile, inside the greenhouse the air conditioning/circulation system is in the process of being fixed. When it is finished, there will be three different groups working.
One Hundred Gardens will use about one third of the greenhouse for aquaponics, which is a water-based farm for fish and plants.
In the aquaponics system, waste from tilapia fish provides nutrients to the roots of plants. Then, the plants filter the water to be recycled back to the fish. The aquaponics can relate with several school subjects: a math class can use measurements, a Biology class can study the health systems and survival of the tilapia fish, a chemistry class can study water temperatures and PH levels.
Aquaponics is more than dealing with a classroom lab; it’s more hands on experience.
One Hundred Gardens is based on communities and clubs working with gardens. The main goal is to for every two gardens planted at Charlotte area schools, a third aquaponic garden will be sent to Haiti. The group wants to build a total of 66 gardens here and ship 33 to Port-au-Prince, Haiti.
The Garinger Garden Club and the Urban Farm will share the rest of the space in the greenhouse. The club plans to plant seeds to grow into seedlings, which they will either sell or plant in the raised beds. One idea is to provide a farmers market, where they can sell seeds, plants, vegetable and jams to the local community. The money raised will provide more material needed.
The pergola near the baseball stands will become an entrance where everyone is welcome to the garden.
Ms. Mabe relates to the garden because she volunteered at Shamrock Gardens Elementary for three years. She loved how the children communicated with nature. She said her main goal is for students, parents and the community to join and build relationships at Garinger as well.
“The main reason I do it is because I see students come in and they are so excited to get out there… It’s just the impact it has on the students and really the families and the communities. It just filters down. It’s amazing,” she said.
Want to know more?
Garinger Garden Club: Meets 2:30 p.m. Thursdays, at the garden. For more information, please contact Ms. Mabe in room 100c
By Kimberly Monge
It is our normal daily routine at Garinger High School to learn the objective with help from our teachers.
Instead, one of our teachers was selected to go to Haiti for a couple of days to help other students.
The teacher selected was Ms. Hendee, an Earth and Environmental teacher. She was chosen to go because she wanted to help others and experience new things from other cultures.
On Friday, March 8, early in the morning, Ms.Hendee met up with people from UNC-Chapel Hill at Charlotte Douglas Airport. They were on the way to Haiti to run a health clinic, and Ms.Hendee was to help the children at a children’s home put a garden in on the rooftop.
Ms. Hendee stayed in Port-au-Prince, at an orphanage home called New Hope Haiti Mission. During those days, the whole group planned to run a health clinic for the children who lived at the orphanage.
“When the earthquake hit in Haiti in 2010, I wanted so desperately to go. However, a mentor of mine mentioned that I would not have a skill to bring and would take jobs away from Haitian people,” Ms. Hendee said.
“I didn’t want to go back to Haiti until I had a skill. Garinger taught me how to garden. I brought that skill to the garden in Haiti and learned even more.”
In Haiti, their morning breakfast was spaghetti, fried chicken and heavy eggs with boiled plantains, even though the traditional meal for Haitians is rice and beans.
The water from Haiti was polluted so nobody could drink or bathe in it.
Ms Hendee said that the surprising thing is that all the groups had to be sitting inside a cage when a vehicle was driving them to a location. Otherwise, it was a long walk because they had to wake up early in the morning with the young girls so they could get water for everyone in the orphanage. It was an hour walk to go to the river and go back to the home, get dressed and go straight to school.
Ms. Hendee said the education for Haitians is expensive because it is a private school. If students wear the uniforms inappropriately or if the students are late to school, they are suspended for one week.
In the New Hope Haiti Mission, six teenagers take care of the other children. Two older boys named Macintosh and Ricardo take care of the children’s school work and every night they would put the children in prayers before sleep.
Four older girls named Anel, Daniela, Joelle and Marie Carmel, make sure that the children eat their food and clean the house. The saddest part is the oldest boy is almost 18 years old. In a couple of months, he will have to leave the orphanage and start out to search for jobs like the adults.
The leader of the orphanage, Scott Salvant, is living in Haiti with his wife April and their five children. He said that Haiti is his new home.
Salvant is trying his best for the orphanage; lately they have been having some issues.
The orphanage does not want to add more orphans because recently they have added two young boys who physically abused some girls and were kicked out. The girls that were abused were having nightmares and were frightened to go outside.
After she returned, Ms.Hendee set up a Skype call with her 4th period class and AP students. Garinger students met Salvant and Macintosh, Ricardo, Anel, Daniela, Joelle and Marie Carmel.
The orphans told the class that they would love to come to America; one of the eldest males wants to work here as a doctor.
They said that they love to play soccer and basketball and one of the things they enjoy is watching soccer matches on their mini TV/radio.
Ms. Hendee is happy with the outcome.
“It was an opportunity to expose myself and my students to a different culture. I also was able to serve in knowledge, experience, and relationship building. I feel so blessed I was able to go and cannot wait to go back,” she said.
By Leroy Phomma
Garinger’s Garden Club is having a fit and green community event called Winter Garden Land 10 am – 1 pm Saturday, Dec. 8th at Garinger High School’s Green house.
The event will include a clean up activity in which the participants and volunteers will go around the neighborhood to pick up recyclables and trash.
Afterwards, the event will have a cooking demonstration using the vegetables the garden club has grown in the garden.
The garden club is also hosting a coat drive the entire week before the event. The coats will be given away to the volunteers on Saturday.
The event is free and open to the public.
The purpose of the event is to give back to the community.
Ms. Hendee and Mr. Ingram launched the garden club last year. This year, the club is partnering with One Hundred Gardens to create a sustainable type garden to teach kids about sustainable agriculture in three different regions.
One Hundred Gardens is a community-based organization that helps create and teach faith based communities, civic clubs and PTAs about sustainable agriculture for a greater cause.
Sam Fleming is part of One Hundred Gardens and he came to a garden club meeting to teach about hydroponics.
It will be installed in the near future at Garingers greenhouse.
For more information about the garden club contact Ms. Hendee. The regular meetings are 2:30-3:3- p.m. Wednesdays in room 205.