Lenape GardenThe Lenape Garden began to grow in 2009 under the leadership of Jim Longbotham and Eric Savelson. They enlisted a group of teachers called the “Garden Club” and together they form a committee that makes decisions for the garden. There is also a lot of assistance from parents and community members during work days making this garden a collaborative project.
The garden is approximately 800 square feet with the footprint being 20 feet by 40 feet. There are some wonderful sustainable systems used in the Lenape garden. One system is the drip irrigation system. This system provides the necessary water for the garden. A quick hose hookup to the school and the garden has water. There are also two water barrel collecting systems near the garden to help provide the necessary water for the plants. Another wonderful system is the compost structure. There is a compost tumbler, a compost stack and a three bin compost system near the garden.
Many products are grown in the garden. It is varied from year to year. Some of the products grown have been: popcorn, basil, strawberries, onions, tomatillos, garlic, asparagus, tomatoes, lettuce, carrots, snap peas, pumpkins, beans, morning glories and sunflowers. Occasionally, there is: acorn squash, watermelon, spaghetti squash, sweet corn, honeydew melon and peppers (both sweet and hot). Some future plants to look for are rhubarb and horseradish.
Each year there are two events that are held in correlation to the garden. Each fall there is a pumpkin fest. This event is attended by every student in the building. The learning that occurs with this event is immense and the students look forward to the experience every year. Many people work together to plan and carry out this event. Food that is harvested from the garden is used to make a soup for the students. The students from the High School Piglets class are a tremendous help with the day. The second event is the spring cleanup and planting day. Classes are encouraged to work in the garden to prepare the space or plant for the season. This is an excellent learning opportunity for all students in Lenape.