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Wheeling Middle School Garden Nearing Harvest

Photo by Joselyn King Plants — both vegetables and flowers — are doing well this year in the Wheeling Middle School garden.

The garden at Wheeling Middle School is growing, nearing its first harvest time and in need of volunteers to come pick vegetables to take home to eat.

“We’re hoping that by the middle of next week to have a clean up day,” said teacher Jenny Craig, who oversees the garden. “We’ll be getting folks organized to weed and see where produce is.

“We’re hoping to do a garden night — not this week, but maybe next week.”

Produce planted in the garden includes tomatoes, peppers, zucchini, squash and grapes. Strawberries that grew in the garden were already picked by students before summer break, as the school year ended later this year, Craig said.

Later pumpkins planted by the school’s autism class will be available. An herb bed has been actively growing throughout the year and “we are harvesting them as we go,” she said.

The school also received a grant from the Northern Panhandle Conservation Development District. The grant gave the school 30 containers just right for transporting home tomatoes and peppers, according to Craig.

Those wishing to volunteer and take home produce should contact Craig at 304-280-6979.

Last month, the school sponsored an educational “family planting night” for students and their families. Trinity Lutheran Church provided hot dogs and snow cones, while Grow Ohio Valley provided plants.

Volunteers from the Church helped the families plant vegetables in the school’s garden, and even helped many take home the plants for their own yards, according to Craig.

“We’re hoping to do another family education night this summer,” she said.

While students are involved with the initial planting and care of the plants, the bulk of the growing season takes place while they are on summer break. Craig said “lots of teachers sign up” to assist in the garden over the summer, as do members with the Ohio Valley Master Gardeners association.

Recent heavy rains and wind knocked down plants and protective coverings in the garden. Volunteers were needed to re-stake tomato plants and fix tarps.

“We have been fortunate to have a lot of helpers this summer,” she said.


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