Student-run Garden Club
Boeckman Middle School
The Boeckman Middle School Garden Club is Flourishing
The students are Boeckman Middle School are making things happen in and outside of their school building. This talented and motivated group of young people have started a student-run garden club that planned and installed a 25’ x 25’ vegetable garden. This group began meeting in October 2016, with their two advisors, Mrs. Ballstadt and Mrs. Meinke. Since then, they’ve met at least once per week (during the winter months) and have ramped up to 3-4 days per week during planting season. They would meet after school and would use their lunch breaks and any free time during the school day to work on their project. During their meeting times, students brainstormed ideas and strategies to get their garden in the ground. They solicited donations from local businesses, sought resources available to them from other teachers (i.e. grow lights from the science department), took a tour of a local garden center, recruited family and friends to volunteer in the gardens and wrote a variety of grants to fund their project. They were able to secure $1,000 from the Farmington Education Foundation for materials to create signage, install the garden, amend the soil and purchase plants, seeds and containers for indoor starts. “The students are so enthusiastic about the garden, they would meet every day if they could!”, stated Mrs. Ballstadt about her eager garden club members.
Some of the vegetables and herbs they planted include squash, pumpkins, onions, beans, peas, cucumbers, sweet and hot peppers, tomatoes and cilantro. During the summer months, garden club members and their families are responsible for a week in the garden to water, weed and harvest any ready crops. As a reward for their hard work, they will be able to take any picked
vegetables home with them to share with their family.
“It’s been a long process, but we really wanted the students to take ownership of the project, and so far, so good!”
-Mrs. Ballstadt, Teacher
Boeckmann Middle School
The student garden is located by the main entrance to Boeckman.
This project was partially supported by the Statewide Health Improvement Partnership,
Minnesota Department of Health, and the Dakota County Public Health Department.
The primary focus of this funding is to reduce chronic disease in various community settings,
one being schools through nutrition and physical activity initiatives.