TAMPA (FOX13) - It’s been an exciting school year at Roland Park Magnet School. Their Discovery Garden has taken off with help from our Good Day Garden Expert David Whitwam.
“How can they have a functioning garden so that when teachers need to be able to use it that it's up and running and usable without that individual teacher taking on the whole weight of having a school garden. We truly have a school wide garden,” said David Whitwam Owner of Whitwam of Organics and Roland Park Garden Founder.
“All the plants you see we've started them,” said 7th Grader Ashley Heitler.
“We've spent a lot time working on the infrastructure and the business plan,” Whitwam said.
The Eco Action Team helps manage the garden committees. Some students amend the compost and others monitor the seedlings.
“We're mixing all the fruits and vegetables that we have so that after a few months we get dirt. This will help the plants grow,” said 8th Grader Luca Magazzino.
“A watering system waters the plants and once they grow big we put them in the seed tables over there,” said 5th Grader Joshua Selvan.
“I'm fertilizing the plants. It's kind of like a liquid fertilizer,” said 7th Grader Alysa Edwards.
Everything in the garden is organic. Strawberries ripen in compost with help from a watering system.
“Different groups and spokes of the wheel keep this garden moving,” Whitwam said.
Parents and volunteers help too. The PTSA funds the garden.
“It’s fun because we get to take care of it and we also get to sometimes eat some of the fruits,” Selvan said.
“It makes you feel almost like I did this. it makes me really proud. When we leave the school the kindergarteners can come and take care of it.” Heitler said.
“I'm not going to stop until there is a school garden in every school in the state. If I can at least get somewhere close I'll be really happy,” said Whitwam.
Gardening won’t stop this summer. Roland Park will grow summer crops and harvest with help from parents until the new school year begins.