Growth spurt for sixth graders

Sprouting
out of the ground behind the East
End Primary School
are bell peppers, cauliflower, bok choy, cabbage and tomatoes.

This is
the handiwork of some pint-sized students who are eager to get their hands dirty and just as eager to pick the over-sized vegetables to
share with classmates, teachers and parents at home.

The
gardening project, started last September with the assistance of East End MLA
Arden McLean is a practical component to the school’s
scienceclass curriculum.

And from the looks of the healthy
plants – some towering over 7 feet tall – these students have no shortage of
green thumbs.

Sixth grade student Isabelle
Richardson said, “It is good that we are getting the experience on how to grow
vegetables and take care of plants and learn about plant genes.”
  Besides a number of grow boxes sprouting new buds, the project also has
a fairly large greenhouse, which is flourishing with vegetables ready to be harvested.

The greenhouse came about with the
help of the Department of Agriculture. Agriculture Officer Raymond Coleman assists
the students with grooming and caring of the plants.

Mr. Coleman prepares the soil and
the children are in charge of watering, measuring plants and placing fertilisers.

Students have to come up with
reasons why some plants are doing well and others are not, as part of the
school project.

Sixth grade teacher Ann Whitehall
said, “The shaded garden is a practical way of getting students involved
in agriculture, growing what they eat and eating what they grow, thus reducing
Cayman’s food import bill and equipping students with a useful skill.”

LOCALeastendprimaryLEAD

East End Primary School sixth grade students display wine ripe tomatoes and bell peppers with the assistance of Agriculture Officers Raymond Coleman, right, and Phillip Campbell.
Jewel Levy