Welcome to HES Gardens where we are Planting Seeds and Growing Minds

At Hillside Elementary, we are proud of our thriving gardening program.  The goals of the program named “Planting Seeds, Growing Minds” are to promote healthy eating habits, environmental awareness and sustainable living.  Last year, we added to our existing 8 raised beds when volunteers installed a greenhouse, 4 rain barrels and 27 raised beds made of sustainably harvested – FSC certified, chemical-free white cedar.

With the guidance of enthusiastic teachers, the gardens allowed approximately half of our students to raise vegetable crops using organic methods.  They raised lettuce, broccoli, basil, beans, radishes, oregano and tomatoes.  Students and teachers also learned valuable lessons in natural pest control.  Each of our kindergarten classes received a grow lamp stand where they nurture vegetables and flowers from seed.  We hope in time all of our students will have the opportunity to become involved in the gardens.

In front of the school, nine beds are laid in a grid formation and tended to by the PTA.  Each growing season a themed garden is installed in these beds.  Past themes have been ‘tic tac toe’, ‘the pumpkin patch’, ‘fall salad bowl’, and coming this spring ‘3 sisters’.  During the summer, families adopted the gardens in the courtyard and grew a host of vegetables and flowers including strawberries, basil, tomatoes, watermelon, peppers, zinnias, eggplants and pole beans.  If you are interested in more information, volunteering or adopting a garden for the summer, please contact Teresa Lin at teresalin@bellsouth.net.