Hillside pupils reap produce from agricultural project

CAY HILL–Radish (red beets), parsley and baby carrots were amongst the produce that pupils from the Asha Stevens Hillside School’s Community School programme reaped from the school’s gardening project in March.

After harvesting the produce, the pupils prepared beet juice to share with their group leaders and fellow pupils. This week pupils will prepare a salad with ripe tomatoes picked from the tomato trees in their gardens, the school said in a press release.page5d268

The pupils are part of the school’s agriculture and gardening project introduced at the Asha Stevens Hillside Christian School in 2015 as a pilot project by Foundation Dance and Arts Dimensions Academy (DADA) and the St. Maarten Timeshare Association (SMTA).

The goals of this initiative are to teach pupils and “leaders” a positive social responsibility through gardening and agriculture. The project was implemented at Hillside’s Community School programme which runs after school hours from 1:30pm to 5:00pm. Agriculture is an extracurricular activity.

In November 2015, the project began with members from DADA Foundation working in the garden by preparing the soil and boxes for plants. In early December 2015, pupils and their leaders with assistance of DADA Foundation began with the actual gardening. By the end of December, after the first shoots were visible in the nursery, the plants were transplanted in specified plots. Pupils with their leaders continued to monitor and care for the garden. Each group is assigned one day to work in the garden and water the plants every afternoon.

page5e268The school currently has a garden with various vegetables such as radish, parsley, carrots, tomatoes, eggplant and corn amongst others. The school thanked DADA and the SMTA for including it in the pilot project.

Plans are in the pipeline to continue with “a major gardening project” for the school’s greenhouse, which will include all pupils and teachers. The project is being spearheaded by Nadia Chirlias, Maria Martina and Ras Bushman.

Source: The Daily Herald Hillside pupils reap produce from agricultural project