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Colleton County Middle school students toil in the soil

Angelia Smoak and Cha-lynn Berbick place vegetable plants in garden plot. Photo by Rick Tobin

Angelia Smoak and Cha-lynn Berbick place vegetable plants in garden plot. Photo by Rick Tobin

Several Colleton Middle School (CCMS) students have recently been participating in a program conducted by the Colleton County Museum that promotes vegetable gardening.

Museum Program Coordinator Elaine Inabinett is in charge of the gardening project. She noted recently that the students have planted cabbage, onions, cantaloupe, corn, cucumbers, squash, and peppers. Five groups of students have placed the vegetable plants in five garden boxes on the museum property. The students have also planted insect-repelling flowers within the boxes.

The students are involved in the school’s Growth, Achievement, and Pride (GAP) program, and many students have come to the museum to get their hands dirty. “You should have been here on Monday (March 11),” Elaine said. “There were 14 students out here planting vegetable plants.”

Last Wednesday, four students showed up to work in the soil. Angelia Smoak, Cha-lynn Berbick, Alexis Basler, and Veronica Edwards were digging holes for the plants. “We chose what we wanted to plant, and then planted them in our own boxes,” Cha-lynn said. “We planted all kinds of plants, even flowers that help to keep bugs away,” Angelia added.

Elaine noted the gardening program is a part of the Museum Buddies portion of the GAP Program at CCMS, which is run by GAP Director Gail Thomas. Instructor David Martin also assists with the Monday-through-Friday program. “This is a very good program, and both Gail and David deserve to be praised for their hard work in conducting these activities,” Elaine said.

Gail Thomas termed GAP Friday as a 21st century community and after school program that operates five days-per-week. “The program focuses on academic achievement and enrichment,” she noted.

Before the students started the actual dirty work in the garden, Elaine taught them about the history involved with gardening in the Lowcountry area. The students learned what types of vegetables should be planted at this time of year, and how many plants can be placed into each raised bed used for the plots. Elaine added that more plants will be placed into the ground, and the children will then spend more time maintaining what they have grown.