The Herb Society of America continues to be impressed by the growing interest in the Samull Classroom Herb Garden Grant as well as the diversity of ideas regarding how recipients plan to use the grant money to foster an interest in gardening with herbs, both in and outside of the classroom. This year applications arrived from nearly every state covering a range of backgrounds from inner city schools to special needs programs.
Meet the 2019-2020 Samull Classroom Herb Garden Grant Recipients
Ackerman Elementary School – Ackerman, Mississippi
Students at the Ackerman Elementary School are using herbs and plants to celebrate differences. Grant funds are enabling the school to purchase planters, soil, seeds, and plants. Special needs students will enjoy seed starting and planting herbs in raised planters. Using garden journals growth rates and plant heights will be monitored and tracked by the children. Throughout the project students will read books on plants, life cycles, insects, and gardens. As a side benefit the teachers are hoping that students will be excited to talk to other adults and students in the school about their project providing opportunities to improve language and social skills while becoming more "visible" to the students in the school.
Dianne Feinstein Elementary School – San Francisco, California
The Dianne Feinstein Elementary School Garden is located near the coast and like many coastal locations the soil is sandy making it difficult to grow many herbs. The Samull Grant will be used to amend the soil, purchase sizable perennial plants, and knee high fencing. Third year students will use the garden to learn about the medicinal power of plants, explore the ways in which plants adapt to their environment, and how incorporating them into the environment can result in behavioral adaptation. Fourth grade students will explore how the Native American people of the northern California coast, the Ohlone people, interacted with the land and how the Ohlone incorporated herbs and other plants in their lives. Fifth graders will develop a stronger connection to where food comes from while sharing their efforts with the community and their local farmers market.
Elvin Hill Elementary – Columbinana, Alabama
Gardening offers an amazing opportunity to enhance physical, emotional, social, and spiritual well being, and can be a coping strategy for stressful life experiences. Fourth graders at Elvin Hill Elementary will learn firsthand the many benefits of gardening by growing herbs. Fun plans include a Pizza Herb Garden and a Tutti Fruity Herb Garden. Grant funds will be used to purchase potting soil, small containers, plant starts, and seeds. The Pizza Herb Garden will include basil, parsley, and oregano in addition to a few tomatoes. The Tutti Fruity Garden will feature pineapple sage, lemon balm, scented geraniums, peppermint, spearmint, and chocolate mint. Any remaining money will be spent on educational materials for students including books on herbs and gardening.
Etna-Dixmont School– Etna, Maine
Etna-Dixmont School is a Title 1 school that educates students from six surrounding towns with children coming from predominately rural backgrounds with minimal resources. The grant will be used to acquire locally-sourced holding containers to build a mobile indoor herb garden that highlight many of Maine’s native herbs and plants. Students will help research Maine’s various regions and choose three to four from which to purchase gardening containers for example old lobster traps, regional lumber, and recycled wooden produce containers common to many farms in the region. Students will grow plants like sumac, clustered wild mint, and bee balm. These plants and many others will serve as a resource for additional lessons including a culinary lesson on tea-making.
Heathwood Hall Episcopal School– Columbia, South Carolina
Students in the Heathwood Hall Episcopal School are set to expand on their existing butterfly garden which is a certified Monarch Waystation. (Waystation #9486). The grant will enable them to establish an additional four herb gardens featuring nectar and host plants. Students are to recognize the value of herbs and butterflies and appreciate the symbiotic relationship between them. One of the goals is to establish these herb gardens as certified butterfly gardens by the North American Butterfly Association.
Hockinson Heights Elementary School – Brush Prairie, Washington
Hocksinson Heights Elementary School will be expanding on their existing Legacy Garden. The grant money will be used to purchase resin planting barrels, soil, compost, and herbs. The herb garden will include both perennial and seasonal herbs and will be grouped by geographic region in order to learn about the cultural significance of the herbs. Lesson plans include focusing on plant life cycles, the impact humans have on earth, and other scientific ideas. At the end of the project students are expected to be able to identify three herbs including the region of origin. This new found knowledge will be on display at the school’s annual multicultural STEAM event.
Meadow Lane Elementary – Lees Summit, Missouri
In the STEM lab the students of Meadow Lane Elementary School are learning how take care of plants with the goal of creating a school wide garden. The students will plan out the dimensions of the garden using area, perimeter, and volume. They will take into account how much space each plant needs to grow as well as proper placement in order to provide the correct amount of sunlight and shade for the plants. The kids will be responsible for creating and installing the garden, planting the herbs and maintaining the garden. Grant funds will be used to purchase supplies to plan out the garden, construct the garden, and ultimately the planting of the herbs.
Sleek Academy LLC – Bowling Green, Ohio
Sleek Academy is in its second year of operations and they are excited to include sustainable practices into their curriculum. Since their inception they have been working on a project to build a walipini which is an underground greenhouse that will produce plants all year round with the ultimate goal of providing fruits, vegetables, and herbs for school lunches and donating excess to local shelters and soup kitchens. Students have worked diligently on plant selection, garden design, as well as learning about native Ohio plants and their history. The Samull Grant funds will be used to purchase soil, herb plants (mint, parsley, and others), and youth sized gardening tools.
St. George Middle School – St. George, South Carolina
St. George Middle School is a rural Title I school in the South Carolina Lowcountry. They have been maintaining a garden for six years. This year sixth graders are being taught engineering and are tasked with designing, creating, and improving the existing garden to increase accessibility and make it more user friendly this includes making it wheelchair and walker accessible. Working in teams students are being challenged to come up with design prototypes using software and 3-D models. Students will vote on the most successful plan and as a class build it. Grant funds will be used to purchase garden soil, organic soil amendments, as well as tools to construct the elevated raised beds.
Sycamore Creek Community Charter School – Huntington Beach, California
Syacamore Creek Community Charter School is a tuition free public Waldorf School in its first year of operations. Bringing a school garden into the curriculum is a high priority for this school. The school’s first year goal is to install three gardens including a pollinator garden, sensory and botanical garden, and natural dye garden. Students will be engaged with all aspects of these gardens from seed starting, transplanting, soil chemistry, composting, and waste management to harvesting, threshing, milling, fiber production, seed saving, and crop rotation. They have raised local funding and donations for soil and plants but need tools to make the effort of installing and maintaining a new garden easier. The Samull Grant will be used to purchase trowels, transplanters, and cultivator tool sets.