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The Gardens


Nutrients for Life gardens range in size from 12-625 square feet, with an average of 225 square feet per garden. One school’s greenhouse was built in the 1970s, but the majority of gardens were established between 2012 and 2015. The most of the gardens were vegetable gardens, but a number of schools also reported growing flower gardens. One-third of the schools are using organic nutrients, 1/3 are using compost to enrich the soil, and 1/3 are using commercial nutrients.



A number of schools reported having a nursery and/or greenhouse. Several of them explained how they started their seeds under a grow light, transferred them to the greenhouse, and then replanted them in a bed outside. Some of the schools have built their greenhouse recently, a couple just this year.  Of those without a greenhouse, many expressed an interest in developing one in the future and a few schools have gotten creative, such as Virden Collegiate and Janeville Community School, creating mini-greenhouses out of plastic pop-bottles.