By Jill Fox
Students in Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School’s garden club are thrilled to be able to put their fresh, locally-grown produce on dinner tables around Parkland.
At 14,000 square feet, Marjory’s Garden is a community garden and green space located at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School.
In his 28th year as an Eagle, Astronomy teacher Kyle Jeter started the garden in 2016 with four other staff members.
“The opportunity presented itself when they tore down the school’s portables,” he said. “I asked if we could set aside some land for science purposes, and the principal said yes.”
Jeter felt that since the school was named after a famous environmentalist, it made sense.
The garden club comprises students and staff, who meet every Sunday morning to plant seeds and trees, build flower beds, and maintain the hydroponic garden.
Now, with their new partnership, they are adding harvesting to their list of duties.
“It’s a new challenge for us,” said Jeter. “The garden has evolved and morphed way beyond what I could have imagined.”
Tunie’s Market shared on Instagram, “So excited to collaborate with Marjory’s Garden and sharing the fruits of your labor with the Coral Springs and Parkland communities!”
Every two weeks, they will work together to curate a selection of fruit, veggies, flowers, and herbs to bring to the market.
“Now that there’s this new objective, the students are really excited about it,” said Stephanie Beaty, health science and physical education teacher, who has been involved with the garden for two years.
Beaty explained the new challenge would involve more planning with crop rotation and monitoring the calendar.
“It’s going to be a lot of scheduling and replenishing the soil,” she said, “But, it’s really exciting — I have always wanted to do something like this.”
The first harvest, which included fresh-cut flowers, lemongrass, and mulberries, went on sale on Sunday, April 25, and sold out in just one day. Residents can look for more products during the first weekend in May.
Shoppers can buy the items individually or order a garden co-op box of all three products for $14.99, and 100 percent of the proceeds go back to Marjory’s Garden.
Jeter said it’s been enjoyable to watch the garden grow and meet some of the STEAM goals set five years ago.
“The partnership with Tunie’s Market hits the final part of our plan that we couldn’t accomplish before, the business math component.”
Middle or high school students at Marjory Stoneman Douglas who are interested in volunteering in the garden can receive service hours on Sunday mornings at 9 a.m. Text @MSDGARDEN to 81010.
Jeter said, “We’re happy to have any kids who want to come out and work hard.”
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- Jill Fox is an Emmy Award-winning writer and producer. She has worked in public relations and television for over 20 years. Fox lives in Parkland with her husband and their two children.