Deep Creek Primary School, with the assistance of The Cape Eleuthera Institute (CEI), has started a new initiative to build a school community garden with the aim to provide students with access to healthy meals and nutritional awareness. Tiffany Gray planting with community members.

The planning phase for this project began in October of this year. Deep Creek Primary School teachers and CEI staff met to discuss the potential of a collaborative project that would not only be educational but also provide students with the opportunity to gain valuable practical skills.

Everyone working to clear the land!

A Parent Teacher Association meeting was held in mid October to ensure that all key-stakeholders were incorporated in the planning process and that there was sufficient backing to support the initiative.  The meeting was a great success with demonstrated support from teachers, student’s parents and local community members. An assessment of the surrounding grounds was completed by the key-stakeholders and an area adjacent to the school was chosen for the location of the proposed garden.

In early November the first gardening day was held with a great turn out; 21 community members and 8 CEI staff came together to start clearing the borders of the land so that grow-beds could be constructed.  Weekly gardening days were arranged to continue land-clearing efforts and seedlings were planted in preparation for transplanting into the anticipated grow-beds. The great physical effort of clearing the land was alleviated in late November by The Cape Eleuthera Resort and Marina, who kindly helped support this initiative by donating the use of their back-hoe to assist with clearing the large area of land and digging holes for fruit trees. This support was an enormous help to further the project.

A finished grow bed.

Each class will have their own grow-bed, which they will be responsible for the up-keep of, creating ownership and competition between classes. Maintenance of the garden and respective class grow-beds will be incorporated into student daily chores. The combination of ownership that students have over the garden and competition between classes will motivate students and hopefully ensure the success of the project! This endeavor will not only provide students with useful knowledge but also requires them to be responsible and accountable for a project, a great life skill to practice.

In early December, a couple of fruit trees were planted, 7 of the class grow-beds were constructed and the previously potted seedlings were transplanted to the garden. Future plans include planting many more fruits and vegetables in the garden so that healthy meals can be produced for students at the school, and increasing education and awareness amongst students about a balanced, nutritional, healthy diet.

By early December, 43 Deep Creek Primary School students, the 5 Deep Creek Primary School teachers, 10 student relatives and 14 CEI staff had contributed to the community garden.

During semester time every Tuesday at 3pm, students, teachers, parents, community members and staff from CEI are committed to assisting the primary school with the set-up and expansion of the school community garden project- you are welcome to join us!

We need your help supporting the school community garden. Can you help by donating tools, seeds or plants?

If you would like more information or are interested in donating please contact Candice Brittain at candicebrittain@ceibahamas.org or call 334 8552 ext. 6206.

A big thank you to all our supporters- including the Cape Eleuthera Marina and Resort for donating their backhoe to clear the land!