MacAfee Road School Students’ Garden Producing Bountiful Crops


The garden at the rear of MacAfee Road School.

For at least the rest of the month, members of the MacAfee Road School community won’t have far to go to get fresh produce.

In fact, they’ll only have to go as far as Susan Zega’s special education classroom.

That’s because the vegetable garden tended by Zega’s students is producing a bountiful harvest.

The garden, located next to the school’s backyard greenhouse, has been in existence for about the past five years, Zenga said.

Students grow a variety of vegetables, including tomatoes, sweet potatoes, white potatoes, zucchini, eggplants, peppers, cabbage, squash and cucumbers. They also grow several herbs, such as oregano, thyme and sage.

There’s also a fig tree that Zega brought from her home.

“Anything that I buy for my garden at home and I have extra, I bring here,” she said.

“I have 3rd and 4th Graders who are very active, so this is a way to let them use some of that energy they have in a good way,” she said.

In years past, the students donated most of the crops they raised to the Franklin Township Food Bank, Zega said.

In fact, over the past five years, she said, her students have donated more than 1,500 pounds of produce to the food bank. Just last year, Zega said, the students donated 427 pounds of produce to the food bank.

But this year, she said, the garden is in need of some maintenance, so the students are selling the crops to raise money.

“We need to upgrade our sprinkler system, we need to fix parts of the fence, that’s why we’re selling,” she said.

Zega has created a “farmer’s market” in her class, which is open during parts of the school day.

“The kids feel so good about it, which is why it’s worthwhile,” she said. “And the store is helping them with their math skills.”

Zega said she also wants to add some technology to the mix, so she can do things like post video updates of the available produce for her fellow teachers.

“There’s some big plans, so I want to get that going,” she said.

One of the market’s biggest fans is building principal, Bill Grippo, she said.

“He uses the tomatoes to make sauce,” Zega said, laughing. “Then he posts it on Facebook.”

2016 MacAfee Road School Garden


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