Miami Sunset High School students are exercising their “green thumbs” as the new Gardening Club is adding a little color to the school by starting its first garden.
The purpose of the garden is to give students who are interested in gardening, sustainability, and farming, a club where they can learn more and practice these skills in a hands on environment.
Erin Cernuda, Sunset High athletic trainer, is the mastermind behind the garden. Her concept on gardening is that, “it is a great activity that stimulates learning and living a healthy lifestyle. It encourages eco-literacy while getting people outdoors and moving.”
She came up with the idea because, “This concept provides a space where students can learn topics like science, math, and language arts all while enjoying physical activity and the fresh air. Our students needed a space that is created with their needs in mind where they can explore and grow.”
There are two parts of the garden: the inside garden which includes herbs, bamboo and fish, and the outside garden that includes more herbs such as basil and thyme as well as vegetables like tomatoes, and carrots. The Garden Club has given the herbs and vegetables for free to the school cafeteria and a few teachers in order to beta test the quality of what is being produced.
Once the garden is sustainable, one of the goals is to help the school cafeteria by giving it the fresh produce, which would take Sunset’s salad bar to a whole new level.
One of the great things about the Garden Club is that anyone can join and participate in gardening. The Garden Club helps students by providing them with something productive to do with their time after school that is both educational and beneficial to the community. Gardening also is great for a student’s health, because you burn some 100-150 calories per hour doing work.
Alexandra Poit, president of the Garden Club, said she has had a great experience in the club so far and that she has learned about the various species of herbs. She has also learned that agriculture is extremely important because, “Everyone needs to eat and without agriculture there would be no consistent food source.”
Sophia Mercadante is a student journalist at Miami Sunset High School.