Einschreibung Kontakt

Planning and Creating a School Garden

Nachhaltigkeit SIS Kassel

One step towards learning to live sustainably

Modern day transportation ensures that supermarkets are stocked with a wide array of food products from around the world, so it is easy to forget about what our own fertile land can provide for us. Food and energy have become increasingly expensive, thus it makes perfect sense to try to live more selfsufficiently.

One step towards learning to live sustainably that we have decided to pursue here at SIS Kassel is creating a school garden. A school garden provides an opportunity for students to learn about the seasonality of fruits and vegetables, especially relevant as climate change is having a major impact today on what type of food is grown and the methods used for successfully growing it. Students can learn that even in limited city spaces we can still improve our carbon balance with small steps such as growing our own salad.

The idea for creating a school garden started in autumn 2022, with students from Years 1 to 3 sampling different tomatoes and sweet peppers and deciding which type would be best suited for growing in our region. Students then began collecting seeds and drying them in kitchen roll paper, after which they were labelled and left to dry further on the windowsills in each classroom.

After discussions about which space could be used in the school, which types of plants could be grown and even how to avoid having certain animals familiar to Kassel (like raccoons) be permanent occupants of our garden, students were given several days to come up with designs on what the school garden could look like.

Year 8 students, along with their class teacher, held a waffle and cake sale throughout the school to help with buying tools to use in the garden. I applied to the BayWa Foundation for financial support for the project. The Foundation has supported over 220 school garden projects around Germany. They provided starter packets in January with plant boxes, seeds, information on planting seeds, germination and how young plants grow.

In March 2023, the BayWa Foundation sent a second garden package to the school that included a raised bed (Hochbeet) and various garden tools the students could use for preparing the soil and taking care of and harvesting plants. During the week of 27 to 31 March 2023, SIS Kassel had a project week under the theme “Day-to-day skills”. This provided the perfect opportunity for students, teachers and the Head of the School to work together to begin the actual building phase of the school garden. The week entailed fencing the perimeter of the garden, tilling the soil, assembling and filling the raised bed, creating other raised beds out of recycled and refurbished pallets, and planting the young vegetable seedlings.

We look forward to harvesting our first vegetables in the upcoming months.

Casandra Castello, Teacher, SIS Kassel