STEM Academy Student grows sustainable garden

Apr 14, 2020 | News

Today is National Gardening Day and we could all use some inspiration from STEM Academy student Ashley Patterson.

The ninth grade student put her knowledge and know-how to great use in order to grow a garden that is feeding her family.

Back in February, Ashley built garden beds and seeded plants in her backyard.

“I thought something sketchy was going to happen with the Coronavirus in the United States, I was worried that people were going to freak out and buy everything off of the shelves like what happened with the hurricane scare,” Ashley said. “Good thing I did!”

Her sustainable garden features kale, carrots, three different types of lettuce, sweet peppers, bell peppers, jalapeños, heirloom tomatoes, zucchini, cucumbers, sugar snap peas and Chinese red noodle beans.

Her mother made an herb garden that contains basil, oregano, cilantro, sage, thyme and mint. They also have lemon and lime trees.

“All of these plants are organic and non-GMO,” Ashley explained. “I use eggshells and Epsom salts as a fertilizer and homemade compost. For pests, I put out bowls of beer because the slugs are attracted to it, fall in, and drown. It’s very gruesome, but very effective!”

Her green thumb has been in training at STEM Academy since sixth grade. Particularly, in seventh grade she was in the Planet Earth class and helped design and build the boxes for the Nimitz/STEM Community Garden (a project supported by NEEF) under the guidance of her teacher, Ms. Jennifer Humphrey.

Fast forward to ninth grade, and she has taken what she has been learning in Mr. Dalynn Robinson’s AP Human Geography class about sustainability to heart.

Great job, Ashley!

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