OMS Community Garden was first established in 2020.
Seeing a need for outdoor learning opportunities during the pandemic, 8th grade ELA teacher, Catherine Sally, her students and master gardener volunteer, Tiare Messing, created a small oasis on the soccer field at Oceanside Middle School.
What started as a small garden with 8 raised beds and a somewhat abandoned shed has turned into a learning paradise for students. To date, OMS Community Garden is home to 26 raised beds, a green house, water catching systems and a three bay composting bin!
The goals of the garden are to offer the surrounding community an opportunity to “help themselves” to the vegetables, fruits, and flowers that are grown, while students learn about growing foods that become delicious meals, benefits of composting, basic gardening techniques, and a variety of other real-life opportunities. Every summer, student volunteers come and assist in maintaining the garden along with hosting a “Free Farmers Market” for the community.
Last year they started the OMS Seedling Company to be able to have the community order seedlings from the catalog students created. Students plant and nurture the seeds until they are strong seedlings ready to be given to the buyer and planted in the ground.
Students read about where their food comes from by reading Michael Pollan’s book: The Omnivore’s Dilemma.
The garden is open to everyone. To make the area welcoming, students built benches out of pallets, and picnic tables for all to enjoy. This year, students are learning about other cultures along with researching their ancestry. Students will focus on one country from their heritage focusing on topics such as food, customs, traditions, and, of course vegetation. In the spring, the garden will become a cultural paradise that will house a variety of vegetables, herbs, and possibly fruits that are popular in the countries of our studies.
For more information, contact Catherine Sally at email@example.com