As part of their Nature Friday classes this fall, teacher Annette Hoyt’s students installed a raised garden bed between Breed Middle School and the teachers’ parking lot. Students first leveled the ground by digging at one end and adding bricks to the other. They also gained experience in using levels to make sure the wooden bed was set evenly on the ground. The Lynn DPW helped by dumping a truckload of rich, black dirt into the wooden structure. Hoyt’s students then raked it into the wooden frame.
Installation of the 4x8x2-foot raised garden bed is phase 1 of Hoyt’s experiential, hands-on science/math project that will take students through the school year. The next step is to have students plant crocus bulbs in a grass field adjacent to this site, which will happen before the first frost. In February, Hoyt’s students may start growing a few tender plants in Breed’s greenhouse.
In the classroom, Hoyt’s students are also caring for many houseplants, taking cuttings to grow new plants. In March, her students will try to plant heartier vegetation, such as early lettuce and radishes, in the raised bed. In early April, they may plant carrots and then move onto planting flowers by the middle of the month if the weather cooperates. The culminating piece to this project will take place just before the end of the school year, when students will plant corn which should be ready for harvest on the first day of school next year.
Inspired at a young age by her father, a botanist, Hoyt learned about science through a love of growing plants, exploring gardens and walking through the woodland areas around her home in northern Wisconsin. She enjoys sharing these passions with her students at Breed Middle School.