The Riverside School Organic Garden is a place where children learn, work, play, and 'educate their taste buds.' All of our students get outside for multiple experiential garden lessons at various points throughout the school year. Children plant seeds, tend gardens, harvest, and taste many vegetables and berries during their class time. They also learn about compost as well as companion planting and how beneficial insects help our garden flourish. Our garden educator emphasizes butterfly lifecycles in the fall as well as harvesting crops and preparing the soil for winter. Spring classes focus on planting early vegetables, watching spring unfold, and learning about caring for our soil microbes through mulching and care of cover crops. Garden class topics are loosely associated with both the Science and Social Studies curricula for various grades (eg, relationships between plants and animals/insects; Colonial use of plants; Native use of plants).
We donate our summer harvest to the Arm in Arm Food Pantry to help our neighbors in need throughout Mercer County. We receive plant starts and many seeds from donations through City Harvest while the Riverside PTO and the Princeton Public Schools provide the remainder of the necessary financing to support the garden.
In addition to classes, we also run a Monday afternoon Garden Club for children and parents interested in a livelier garden experience. During the summer, we hold Evening Garden Club (for free) on Monday evenings from 5 to 7 when we do the bulk of the harvest for the food pantry. In 2018, we donated over 500 pounds of fresh organic vegetables to Arm in Arm.
- Riverside News