New Port Richey, FL – April 23 – Students from Gulf Middle School made a small trek Wednesday to celebrate Earth Day, April 22nd, with a local gardener. The students, part of a science class at the school, were able to see a working community garden that produces food for the local economy. Eggplants, collard greens, sweet potatoes, cucumbers, grapes, blackberries, kumquats, loquats, and other varieties of food are currently being tended on the property.
Gardener Dell deChant talked with the students about the importance of pollination and local bee populations, as well as the tie in with local honey operations. deChant showed the students how local cultivars can be more effective than more widely applied crops and adapt to the local environment. The students also learned about growing crops organically without the use of fertilizers and pesticides.
The educational event is part of an ongoing cooperation between local gardening groups (http://eastmadison.org), Gulf Middle School, and other community organizations in New Port Richey.