BY: Rebecca Lubin
While passing through the hallways at Brien McMahon High School, many have taken a look outside reminiscing on the successful garden ran by the staff and students. It couldn't be done without the members of the Garden Club. One question that has students all over the school asking is, “What happens to the garden during the winter?”
Winter in the northeast can get very frigid with temperatures dropping at an average of nearly 25°C and for plants to grow the soil must be at least 80°f . So how does the garden survive during the winter?
Stephanie Peckham, leader of the garden club, and a student who choose to remain anonymous, an ex member of the club say, “Most plants aren't put into the beds outside rather inside. There are two beds called hoop houses, the plants go under and plastic is placed on top. Most of the plants aren’t in the garden during the winter, they cover the plants down with a tarp.”
Nothing happens to the plants that stay under the hoop houses in the winter, they only continue to grow. The only plant in the garden that can survive during the winter without the hoop houses are strawberries.
“They go dormant before frost and once the frost goes the strawberries grow,” Peckham explained.
With climate change making the winters warmer people ponder on whether it would affect the garden, but fortunately it doesn’t thanks to the garden’s four wall structure and the school’s microclimate bricks.
“Microclimate bricks bring more heat to the garden which causes the plants to grow normally and they’re able to grow better than they would in your own backyard.” Peckham says.
During the winter time the garden club continues to meets every Tuesday after school to cook and plot plans for where things will grow in spring. To raise money for the garden, the club harvests its products, sells produce to the school cafeteria, and receives grants.