Students and faculty members took time after school on Monday to plant spring flowers and vegetables in the Elkin High School garden.
The school’s Environmental Club worked to plant the garden as the school year winds down, with their efforts going toward supplying the cooking classes with fresh produce to prepare.
April Swarey and Ruthann McComb are the club’s advisers. Swarey and her husband tilled the soil for the students over the weekend in preparation for the Earth Day planting. Jalapeno peppers, habanero peppers, marigolds, onions, and Irish potatoes made up the crop for the Spring.
Swarey and McComb said they hope the variety of plants will cause the local deer and groundhogs to lose interest in the rectangular garden. The animals routinely ate the last efforts from the students, with items like sweet potatoes and other vegetables being mowed down.
The advisers hope grants and donations will provide the funds to purchase an eight feet tall deer exclusion fence soon. The fence will also provide protection against groundhogs, which tunnel throughout the hill the garden rests on.
The garden has been a school feature since the summer of 2012, when students and advisers came out and spent several hours breaking the ground and fertilizing it for a planting in the fall semester. Students returned to school to find the ground planted in fescue. Maintenance workers had inadvertently spread grass seed on the seemingly bare patch of dirt.
Efforts to reclaim the area are ongoing, but thanks to Swarey’s tilling efforts and the inability of fescue to handle extreme heat the area is once again under production.
To contact Taylor Pardue call 336-835-1513 ext. 15, or email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.