Summer at McDevitt Middle School

by Abbie Doane-Simon, Northeastern ’16

This summer Healthy Waltham has been working at McDevitt to create something really special. For the past six weeks, Ms. Turkington and Ms. Bonnyman’s classes have be coming out to the garden to plant a plethora of veggies and herbs.

We started two gardens organized by square foot and the kids drew up some plans for what crops should be planted and where. Next thing we knew, seeds and seedlings were going in the ground. Then is was only a couple of weeks of dutiful watering and some minor weeding and we were seeing pole beans, the beginnings of corn, peppers galore, and some truly beautiful squash plants. Every Thursday, these kids would come out to the garden to check on their photosynthesizing charges and make sure they were well provisioned and not overcrowded.

Finally, at the end of our short six weeks, we gathered what crops were ready and made some celebratory whole wheat and low fat cheese pizza to commemorate a wonderful summer.

It was wonderful to have the opportunity to bring these kids into the natural world and teach them about where their food comes from and where it could come from: their own gardens and hard work.

Some of them brought home broccoli plants for their own gardens and some shared their experience with me in the interviews that make up a pretty cool video. Check out the video here. I learned that Alexse, Jaimie and Kevin share a favorite vegetable, carrots and Allison chose to plant corn because it reminds her of when she lived in Guatemala.

Ideally, come fall, the crops growing in these gardens will be able to make into school lunches, so these kids were really giving back to their school.


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