Planting Seeds for Their Future
May 7, 2012 by Dani Ruzycki
Thomas Jefferson’s Special Education Classes are planting and selling herbs and veggies for only two and three dollars each until the end of the school year.
This year will be the second year organic plants and spices will be sold at TJ. Last year, the teachers of the Special Education Department decided that the green house needed to be used. “We figured that we have one, so we might as well use it. Some schools have green houses but they have been shut down because no one uses them. They have been threatening to take ours, but we are trying to keep it up and running,” said Special Education Teacher Elizabeth Repensek.
Repensek says that not only does the sale help keep the green house around, it teaches the students responsibility. Every student is provided a job and they all pitch in and plant the seeds. “It helps the students because they have to take care of the plants, but it is also something fun for them,” said Special Education Teacher Kerry Black.
The money made from the sales will go to the cause and buy more seeds for next year. However, TJ has also received some help when they got the Frog Grant, which is provided from an organization that supports all organic products. The Frog Grant gave 400 dollars to the school and it allowed them to buy all organic seeds and soil. “Everything we sell is organic and we reuse plastic bottles. We try to make this as organic as possible,” said Repensek.
There will be booths set up during staff meetings and hopefully one at the Senior Awards Night. At the booth, there will be two types of tomatoes, marigolds, basil, and jalapenos. Juliet Hybrid Tomatoes are grape-type tomatoes that are sweet and red and are the perfect size for salads or eating whole. Better Boy Hybrid Tomatoes are the other type being sold, and these are deep red, smooth, and firm. They are famous for their delicious meaty flavor. Marigolds are flowers with a blend of bright oranges, gold, yellows, and primrose. These are used to repel insects in vegetable gardens. Organically Grown Basil (Italian Genovese) is Italian pesto basil from the Genoa area of Italy. They have a strong fragrance and flavor. The last item is jalapeno peppers that are a medium-size. It has a warm, burning sensation when it is eaten.
So far, there have been about fifteen orders placed. The tomatoes and jalapeno peppers will be sold for only three dollars. Marigolds and basil will be going for the low price of two dollars.
To purchase the organic herbs and veggies one can go to a booth when they are set up or e-mail one of the teachers with the orders. To reach Elizabeth Repensek, her e-mail is Elizabeth_repensek@dpsk12.org. Kerry Black is also taking orders and her e-mail address is email@example.com. Once they receive the orders, they will discuss how and when they will collect the money.