Whitefield plant sales show acupuncture and horticulture program

Tim Davis, an education technician at Whitefield Elementary School who teaches acupuncture and horticulture, teaches seventh graders Donovan Thompson (left) and Benjamin Sullivan (right) salad. (Photo by Netie Hogland)

For Whitefield Elementary School students in grades six through eight, the school’s acupuncture and horticulture program is reconnecting them with their agricultural community.

“We live in a thriving agricultural city, but many students do not have the opportunity or knowledge to grow their own food,” he said. Teacher of Class Science and Social Studies.

After sowing, planting, planting, and harvesting long winter crops, students sell their seedlings at 9 a.m. to noon, Friday, May 21, and Saturday, May 22.

The students sell a variety of seedlings, including lupine, sunflower, pumpkin, tomato, green pepper, hostess, parsley, basil, zucchini, winter pumpkin, summer pumpkin and pumpkin.

Sowing Seeds Selling Seedlings Full rotation helps students to see the benefits of growing their own food in the world around them, says Davis.

The newly installed Hop House has opened a nursery at Whitefield Elementary School.  (Photo by Netie Hogland)

The newly installed Hop House has opened a nursery for Whitefield Elementary School. (Photo by Netie Hogland)

Proceeds from the sale of plants will be returned to the school’s apocalyptic and horticultural program, which is part of the curriculum for middle school science and social studies.

Before leaving for the greenhouse, the students gather and choose what kind of work they want to do – watering, planting, feeding the fish, cutting the salad, filling the trays – each student has a job.

The main focus is now on testing and improving the aquatic system that supports hydroponic plants such as fish or plants that grow in groundwater.

Former Education Technician James Wiligar began a Aapaponics-based learning environment program with teacher Sally Allen in 2015 as an alternative way to provide structured educational support to students with autism or behavioral or emotional challenges.

By the end of the 2019 school year, Wilgar had inherited the school’s macroelectric acupuncture system, the school’s greenhouse, and an extensive apparel program.

Outdoor Greenhouse and Hope House at Whitefield Elementary School.  (Photo by Netie Hogland)

Outdoor Greenhouse and Hope House at Whitefield Elementary School. (Photo by Netie Hogland)

“I had no experience in acupuncture before, but I was not a big jumper as a science teacher,” says Macmeric.

When Davis was hired last year as an education technician, he took on a new role with decades of experience in horticulture.

“It was wonderful to see the students working with their hands and working with these food systems,” says Davis. Participating in the whole food process encourages students to eat fresh vegetables.

Salads are one of the fastest growing fruits of the acupuncture system due to their nutritional value in water.

“Acupuncture is a really efficient way to produce a lot of food with a small footprint,” says Davis.

The students have 100 herbs growing in their beds, which they hope will serve their school cafeteria staff. They helped launch a salad bar with a hydroponic salad last year.

“We have parents who are willing to let their children eat fresh produce and engage in gardening at home,” Macmeric said.

At Whitefield Elementary School, the Greenhouse maintains the school's appendix system.  (Photo by Netie Hogland)

At Whitefield Elementary School, the Greenhouse maintains the school’s appendix system. (Photo by Netie Hogland)

According to Macromic, the acupuncture and horticulture program has been going on for many years, and this is their most successful year.

At the end of the 2018-2019 school year, the school received funding from the Perloff Foundation to build a full-fledged greenhouse to start planting seedlings and growing plants throughout the year.

“Most of our acupuncture systems were greenhouses, so we needed another place to grow seedlings,” says Macromonic.

With the help of parents and other community members, the students helped Macmorik and Davis prepare the Hop House for this school year.

“We had students working on the ground, raising hooks and even covering the roof,” said Davis. “We, the parents of engineers and plumbers, have volunteered their time to fix any maintenance issues,” he said.

Seventh-graders, Donovan Thompson (left) and Benjamin Sullivan (right) from Whitefield Elementary School, count the lettuce seeds using the appendix system.  (Photo by Netie Hogland)

Seventh graders count the seeds of lettuce to be planted using the Apocalypse system of Whitefield Elementary School’s Donovan Thompson (left) and Benjamin Sullivan (right). (Photo by Netie Hogland)

Not far from the greenhouse and the hop house, the students continue their tradition of growing pumpkins by supporting the Parent-Teacher Association. According to a local farmer, half of the 60-meter by 100-foot plot is a continuous attempt to cultivate crops without destroying the soil.

“In the fall, pre-K and kindergarten students harvested pumpkins with eighth-graders – it was really special,” said Macromic.

In addition to raising funds to continue the acupuncture and horticulture program, the sale of the garden teaches students – whether on land or on land – to serve the local community and ultimately return to their own food production efforts.

There is still much room for discovery and improvement in our Water and Vegetable Program – we cannot rely on the school budget to cover all our expenses.

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