When senior Patrick Nelson decided to create a garden at Poquoson High School as his Eagle Scout project, he probably didn’t imagine how popular it would be among students. The school paired him with a teacher and they quickly got to work. Over the course of five weekends, and with the help of other scouts, they created what is now known as The Giving Garden Project.

Science Teacher Page Yarbrough said she had been pondering ways to collaborate with the school’s culinary arts class to create a product that could help students learn and also serve the community. The Giving Garden Project fit this need perfectly.

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Students film the recipes they cook to post on the school's website.

Nelson said botany students use the garden to study the life cycle of plants. Once the plants are harvested, culinary students use the plants to prepare dishes during their class sessions. Any plants that are not used are given away to community members.

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Student Isaiah Allowatt helps care for the plants.

Student Isaiah Allowatt, who is in the Intro to Culinary Arts class, said he enjoys seeing the full process of the plants. “I like how we go out there every day and take care of the plants and then we can see the progress from the beginning of the plants to now that they are a finished meal,” he explained.

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The plants that are harvested are cooked by students or given away to community members.

Plants in the garden currently include mustard, brussel sprouts, bok choy, carrots, broccoli, cauliflower, collards and butter crunch lettuce. The school hopes to soon add herbs that will be for sale to teachers, and the spring cermanic class is planning to make pots so that potted plants can be sold in a spring plant sale. All proceeds will go directly back into the program.

Learn more and find recipes from students on the school’s website.

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