Herbs as a lesson in gardening

Published 7:00 am Saturday, May 13, 2017

A grant from the Mississippi University Extension Service helped add an herb garden to Nicholson Elementary School’s outdoor classrooms.
Thursday, students got a chance to see where herbs come from, by planting their own in the outdoor garden. The garden is situated in the outdoor classroom adjacent to the reading web installed last year as part of a grant from Lowe’s in Slidell, La.
Through the grant from MSU, Pearl River County Extension Agent Eddie Smith was able to bring a number of herbs to Nicholson Elementary. As the students decided where best to plant each herb, Smith gave them a brief description of the plant, how it can be used in cooking and an estimated height the plant will grow. That information helped them determine the best place to plant the herb in the small cinder block bordered garden.
Nicholson Elementary gifted teacher Maureen Pollitz, said the children also planted a pollinator garden and some blueberry bushes in other garden beds within the outdoor classroom.
In the fall, representatives with the Extension Service will return to provide student instruction about the plants, their growth and how to maintain them.
“I’m finding out a lot of kids don’t get out and do this stuff anymore,” Pollitz said.
Other additions to the outdoor classroom will include a patio and some tables made from large spools that will include science based concepts.
Additional phases are planned for the outdoor classroom, including a music wall that will feature PVC pipe and other items students can use to make musical sounds.
Smith said the grant that helped supply the herb plants and soil totaled $2,200, some of which also helped establish the garden at Poplarville Lower Elementary.

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