Elmhurst Garden Club member Julia Lamb shows students how to break up the soil and water when planting lettuce and other vegetables in a raised-bed garden. “You want to put your tallest plants in the back, so they don’t shade the others when they grow big,” Lamb said. (Phoebe Stergios)
Elmhurst Garden Club member Julia Lamb shows students how to break up the soil and water when planting lettuce and other vegetables in a raised-bed garden. “You want to put your tallest plants in the back, so they don’t shade the others when they grow big,” Lamb said.

Phoebe Stergios

Garden club invites new members into their gardens

September 17, 2021

The Garden Club’s vegetable and flower courtyards are in full bloom and the students are harvesting produce and tending to the gardens at the Wednesday weekly meetings in the senior courtyard. 

“We planted the whole garden from seeds this year and it turned out really beautiful,” York Garden Club member Julia Lamb said. “We tend to three gardens; the north (vegetable) garden, the pollinator garden with all the flowers, and the senior courtyard (sensory garden).”

Juniors Nick Musgrave and Meghan Brandt pick tomatoes in the north vegetable garden. “The tomatoes are juicy and ripe,” Brandt said. (Phoebe Stergios)

The produce grown in the gardens are used for consumer sciences, given to local food pantries or taken home by the members.

“We aim to use sustainable practices, for example we use our own compost that we collect from our garden,” club sponsor Ronny Rayan said. “We do not use pesticides, herbicides or synthetic fertilizers.”

Garden Club partners with the Elmhurst Garden Club to help with teaching and tending the gardens. York Garden chairperson, Lisa Peterson, attends the weekly meetings and saw a noticeable difference in the size of attendees. 

“I’ve been involved with the club for almost eight years and we’ve never had so many students,” Elmhurst Garden Club member and York Garden chairperson Lisa Peterson said. “I’m so excited to have so many students enthusiastic about gardening.”

Lisa Peterson picking dead merigold flowers off their stems to show students how to recycle old seeds for new plants. “Merigolds are great for the garden, so we want to reuse the seeds in the flowers that have browned,” Peterson said. (Phoebe Stergios)

Due to the increase of student attendance, many members are brand new, and did not know what to expect when joining the club. 

“I’m a first-time member and I’m already having fun,” junior Nick Musgraves said. 

The club is based around the garden and the students. As the year progresses, the club will take on new projects depending on what the existing and new members want to accomplish. Students get to learn efficient gardening methods and how to design sustainable gardens.

“You get to learn a lot more about gardening and how to take care of things, so I feel like it’s a really unique and educational club in that sense,” club leader sophomore Riley Costello said.

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