Green-thumbed freshmen come together to grow produce for the community

Yaamini Jois, CHS9 Editor

Despite the chilly bite of the morning, a group of freshmen came together before school on Thursday to continue their year-long project. 

The gardening committee of the CHS9 Leo Club met at the courtyard to plant onion bulbs with Coppell ISD agricultural education assistant Larry Thompson, better known as “Farmer Larry.” The students planted onions in the largest bed, three inches apart from one another, after a quick instructional demo from Thompson.  

The committee has been planting at the garden since the first week of September and had their first harvest before Thanksgiving. They planted garlic in November. Closer to Valentine’s Day, the committee will meet next to plant potatoes. 

Thompson works with CISD students of all ages to maintain sustainable school gardens. The committee meets with Thompson once a month to plant buds or check on previously planted produce. 

Thompson gets his supplies from the district and provides them to the schools that he works with. He additionally brings crushed eggshells for students to spread on the beds to prevent destructive worms from chewing on the greens of the plants. 

“They don’t like crawling on the shells, it hurts their bellies,” Thompson said.

Thompson works closely with the Coppell community garden district, which operates a greenhouse that currently houses transplants, such as kale and broccoli, and will be brought to the students when they are ready. 

Additionally, the committee will be setting up a watering schedule so the plants are taken care of every other day by students.

The potatoes, onions and garlic will be harvested in May. The produce is donated to the CHS9 cafeteria and Metrocrest Services. 

“These guys teach me something, too, because of the science classes that they’re taking,” Thompson said. 

The students quickly got to work, using either tools provided by Thompson or nearby wood chips to plant the bulbs.

Referring to the students working together,  “I hear them laughing, and… that’s it!” said Thompson, with a laugh.

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