1/24/2013 10:09:00 AM Community Garden project
gets Ag Council grant funding
BY DENISE MARTIN
Several hundred students who take agriculture and horticulture classes at Chisago Lakes High School will have a huge, new raised bed gardening area thanks to a $16,500 grant. Jeff Lindeman and Lindsey Brown, high school agri-science department instructors, announced the funding award through the Minnesota Agricultural Education Leadership Council, which supports programs, technologies and projects at the high school level.
Chisago Lakes was one of 12 programs winning $86,000 total in grants from MAELC. Lindeman said the garden beds will be built immediately, to the west of the high school greenhouse. Landscaping block stacked three feet tall will create walls for raised beds five feet wide and about 68 feet long, configured in L-shapes leaving an open area in the center.
Lindeman said he envisions early spring herbs or produce like lettuce being used in the school food service program, and going into the summer break, local groups like Community Education, county master gardeners, FFA and 4H youth can benefit from the community garden, maybe in cooperation with area farmers’ markets. Chisago Lakes high school provides 16 courses related to the study of agriculture. Lindeman explained that the agri-science department is trying to give students real life experience in specialties like greenhouse management and in basics like plant identification, understanding soils and developing gardening skills-- while providing for community collaboration whenever possible. The grant comes in two installments and does not require any matching monies from Chisago Lakes District.
Materials and goods are reimbursed when the granting organization gets invoices. Instructor Lindeman said he chose this site at the high school for the good sun, and because it’s close to the parking lot and to the student run greenhouse, where seedlings can be started for transplanting into the new beds.