Sudduth Elementary School
“IT’S A CARROT!!!! NO WAYYYYYYYYY…….. IT’S GOT GREEN STUFF ON TOP” shrieks a student. This student has just witnessed an Oktibbeha County Master Gardener Volunteer pull a fresh carrot from the ground. The volunteer then goes on to remind students about the lesson where they learned root vegetables such as carrots grow underground and have green tops before they are taken to the grocery store to be purchased.
The Oktibbeha County Master Gardener Volunteers (OCMGV) and Sudduth Elementary School students and staff collaborate each year to provide opportunities for hands-on experience with nature and growing plants for a group of diverse Pre-Kindergarten, Kindergarten, and 1st Grade students at a consolidated public school. Many students are apartment dwellers with little chance of planting a seed or harvesting a food product. The Sudduth Elementary Exploration and Discovery (SEED) Garden is a place of discovery and exploration for students to experience on a very small scale the full process of planting a seed, watching as it grows, taking care of the plant as it produces a fruit or vegetable, and then harvesting that crop. Once the students have completed the harvest, there is an opportunity for the students to taste test what was grown.
Smells of garlic and herbs waft through the school as ooohhhhhhs, ahhhhhs, and “I’m not eating that” can be heard throughout the halls during the taste tests. Each academic year, twelve simple, entertaining lessons and 3 supplemental activities presenting basic facts about the living environment and how food is grown are taught by Master Gardener Volunteers. One Master Gardener, fondly known as “Garden Granny”, serves as coordinator between the school and other Master Gardener volunteers. Lessons are customized by season and scheduled according to the academic calendar and teachers' time preferences. Snacks that are provided are lesson specific, and children have the opportunity to taste some foods they have never eaten, or possibly even seen or heard of. Visual learning resources and plant examples supplement every lesson.
Oktibbeha County Master Gardeners