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Banks students plant garden

The idea of a Native American garden originated with Elizabeth Grubbs, Pike County Board of Education administrative assistant. However, it was a group of fifth- and sixth- grade students at Banks Middle School who put the seeds in the ground.

“Mrs. Grubbs had the idea to plant a garden with many of the vegetables that were grown by the Native Americans,” said Sarah Gambles, fifth grade teacher. “But it was my cousin, Crystal Bass, who is a teaching assistant and graduate student at Troy University, that suggested that we actually plant the garden.” Bass, a biological and environmental science major, asked if she could visit Gamble’s class and talk to the students about environment issues. And, out of that discussion, grew the idea of letting the students put their “hands to the plow” and plant the Native American garden Grubbs had envisioned. “We were very fortunate to have the support of Lowe’s,” Gambles said. “Not only did Lowe’s give us a break on the pear and peach trees that we planted, they also donated all the vegetables, fertilizer and bean poles that we needed. And, Mona Daughtry, Lowe’s live nursery specialist, has been here to teach the students how to plant the trees and vegetables and why. She has also helped them put the plants in the ground.”

Daughtry was made available through Lowe’s Heroes program. Daughtry said. “This is a good learning project for these students. Many of them already knew something about planting but, in today’s world, there are children who don’t know where their food comes from. They go to the grocery store and they don’t know if the produce grows on trees or in the ground. What they are doing at Banks School is a good learning experience for the students because all of them have learned something about gardening.” The students planted a variety of vegetables including, peppers, tomatoes, squash, cucumbers, Indian corn, okra and watermelons.