Planting up a storm at Gathering Ground

This article was originally published in the Washington Island Observer

By Jessica Dennis

The beginning of May was a busy time for our fifth grade students! We took a field trip to Gathering Ground where Russell and Alessandra Rolffs taught the students how to plant apple trees. The students worked together in groups to dig holes, ‘dunk’ apple trees in a fungi solution,and plant appropriately without squishing any of the apple trees’ delicate roots. Every student had a blast! A week later, we welcomed Russell back into our classroom to help plant tomatoes, peppers,Cosmos flowers, and some transplants from Hoot Blossom Farm (marigolds, lettuce, and basil) into our raised garden beds! The students got down and dirty, digging in the soil to make sure each plant had its proper spot and was watered thoroughly. We are hopeful to have a harvest of something before the end of the school year! A huge thank you to Russell and Alessandra!

With the help of Alessandra Rolffs, Amanda plants an apple tree.

The fifth grade class planting in our raised garden beds donated to Gathering Ground for use by the Island School by summer resident Juliann Gardener of One Small Garden.

The fifth grade class listens respectfully as Russell Rolffs explains the process of “dunking” and planting the apple trees.

Fisher takes a leap in digging a hole for an apple tree.


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