Hello all! My name is Jann Knappage- I am the Inch by Inch Project Manager and Grow Appalachia Site Coordinator here at The David School. Cheers to school’s first blog post! Students and staff over here in David, KY are excited about our new partnership with Grow Appalachia. We look forward to growing with the GA family and all sites associated with it.

The school is currently working on incorporating the garden program, Inch by Inch, into all academic classrooms: science, English, woodshop etc; our science teacher, Anna Spittler, will be spearheading this endeavor. There is also a garden elective that is offered to the students, currently there are 3 students participating in this class. These students do anything from: seeding, watering, stirring the compost, to any construction related project. They are incredibly hardworking and find great joy in working with their hands. Fourth quarter, more students will be directly involved in the garden and in the summer we will be offering 4 internship positions to students. This internship will be a 3-4 day a week job where students will work in the garden and at our farmer’s market table on Saturdays.

The school’s garden has two major goals: First, grow and harvest fruits and vegetables that can be used in our school lunches. We want to grow produce that the students will actually enjoy eating, but also will encourage them to try things outside their comfort zone. Second, grow, harvest and process the produce necessary to produce 2 different hot sauce recipes. Our mild hot sauce will be produced with tomatoes and Serrano peppers; we have named it- Southeast Heat. Our hot, hot sauce will have a mix of tomatoes, Anaheim peppers and Jalapeno peppers and its name is Falcon’s Inferno (in honor of our school mascot).

The students and I started seeding tomatoes and peppers the first week of February and have been watching them flourish under our grow lights. As the weeks have passed we have added to our little inside growing sanctuary: basil, cilantro, kale, cauliflower, and cabbage. We planted the basil and cilantro in homemade seed trays made out of eggshells. Students will research each herb, it’s root system etc. and they will analyze how they grew and if each herb grew successfully in that type of tray. On top of inside classroom work, the students have been helping with: building our second high tunnel, shoveling manure, reconstructing our compost area and preparing the ground for the French Drain we plan to put in once the ground thaws. I am so proud of our students, those in my elective and those who help out occasionally, they never complain when they’re out there and are always willing to do what is asked of them!

I look forward to sharing our successes and reroutes as the weeks tick by and spring comes to term!

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