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Last year someone donated old hay bales and we started a small "Hay Bale" garden. It was a huge success. This year, I would like to have part of our garden in hay bales again. We also received the new WeatherSTEM weather station and will be incorporating that into our garden. Students will be using the information gathered by probes that have been placed into our garden. Students have already begun tilling the garden in preparation for our fall planting.

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"Hay... Baby, It's Hot Out Here" - Weather STEM and Hay Bale Gardening

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School:
Heritage Middle 
Subject:
Career & Technical Education 
Teacher:
Lisa Paige Bynum 
Students Impacted:
  
Grade:
6-8 
Date:
August 25, 2016

Investors

Thank you to the following investors for funding this grant.

 

Florida Health Care Plans & Florida Blue - $400.00

FUTURES Foundation for Volusia County Schools - $600.00

 

Impact to My Classroom

# of Students Impacted: 350

 

 

This grant had such a huge impact on my students!  We literally had one of the best gardens in the area!  2 semesters of over 180 students were able to work in the garden, learning about planting then harvesting.  This garden this year was the highlight of the class!  Because of this grant, we were able to have both a fall and spring garden which produced collards, Chinese cabbage, broccoli, green beans, snow peas, tomatoes, various herbs and sun flowers!  Students were able to take home the produce, eat it during lunch and we also shared the produce with faculty and parents. 

Having a garden of this size is expensive, but because of this grant, I was able to purchase everything needed for the students to have a dynamic garden!  We were able to utilize soaker hoses to irrigate the garden using less water.  We were able to utilize the Weather Stem App to continue to monitor soil temperature and soil moisture.

This project had the students working together, helping and teaching each other, but most importantly showed the students how their food is grown and where it comes from.  We currently have potatoes growing and should be harvesting these within the next 2 weeks.  We plan to bring in crock pots and cook then eat the potatoes.

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Hay bale gardening

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cabbage and celery

 

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Planting fun

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Collards from our garden

 

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delivering Bok Choy

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Pototaoes are almost ready to harvest

 

Original Grant Overview

Goal

Last year someone donated old hay bales and we started a small "Hay Bale" garden. It was a huge success. This year, I would like to have part of our garden in hay bales again. We also received the new WeatherSTEM weather station and will be incorporating that into our garden. Students will be using the information gathered by probes that have been placed into our garden. Students have already begun tilling the garden in preparation for our fall planting. 

 

What will be done with my students

Students will set up the hay bale garden and learn about the 14 day curing that must be done, using (Nitrogen) Urea fertilizer. Students will learn about the PH and the process that they hay goes through to decompose so that plants can then grow. Gardening this way is wonderful in Florida since we do not have great soil! Students will plant both fall and spring vegetables and will be responsible for fertilizing, proper water with a soaker hose and harvesting.
My classes will also be using the Weather STEM program that has been installed into our garden and barn area. With this, students can monitor the moisture level of the soil and soil temperature. Mr. Jim Norman, a Volusia County Master Gardener, also helps assist with bringing different varieties of things to plant as well as support.
Lastly, I would like to be able to transplant some of the tomatoes that we grew through the Tomato Sphere Program, which is a program where we received tomato seeds that were grown on the International Space Station. Students will plant those seeds and then transplant seedlings into the hay bales as well as the ground, to see which actually grow the best.
 

 

Benefits to my students

Teaching students about gardening and where their food comes from is priceless. A hay bale garden is something that all the children can do at their own homes. It is also a way to grow plants without having to do much to the ground such as adding so much fertilizer and supplements to the soil. Our school is working on the Healthy Kid Program through our cafeteria and also with our self- contained classes, so teaching students about growing their own vegetables is very beneficial. I have also found that it is easier access for students with physical handicaps since they don’t have to bend over so far or get onto the ground to plant.
 

 

Budget Narrative

I have 180 students each semester so that is over 300 a year. To have a successful garden that all of the students can enjoy is costly. I receive many donations and places like Tractor Supply and Deltona Mulch has waived some of the fees such as delivery. The donation of time and help from the Volusia County Extension Agents is also a help, as Mr. Norman donates his time and materials to help the Heritage Middle School Ag Program garden. The list of items for this garden is actually only part of what is needed. I am writing other grants to get more garden equipment and more seeds and plants so that we can have a fall and spring garden. 

 

Items

# Item Cost
1 50 Hay bales @ $7.00 a bale $300.00
2 2 Soaker hoses @ $15 a hose $30.00
3 Fertilizer from Suniland Corp $50.00
4 Plants from Slingerlands Nursery $100.00
5 Seeds from Guerneys $75.00
6 1 wheelbarrow $80.00
7 Stakes, string $20.00
8 Potato seedlings $50.00
9 Potting soil from Deltona Mulch $295.00
10 Donation of weather probe worth $250 $0.00
  Total: $1,000.00

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Special Thanks to Our Presenting Partners

Get on the Bus Florida

FUTURES Foundation for Volusia County Schools

Embry Riddle Aeronautical University

Space Coast Credit Union

Raydon

SunTrust

Heart of Volusia, Inc.

Duke-Energy

SGM Engineering

Florida Health Care Plans & Florida Blue

Florida Power & Light

Wells Fargo

Cici & J. Hyatt Brown

Daytona International Auto Mall

Noopur

Carl G. Persis Campaign Account

Wyotech

Spectrum

ECMC Foundation

Amscot