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Little Sprouts: Learning from the garden

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On the final day of the first month-long session of the Wadena-Deer Creek community education summer gardening program, incoming third-grader Colby Schmid checks out a pumpkin plant last Thursday. Schmid said he learned a lot throughout the month, including the importance of planting seeds at the proper depth. WDC garden and greenhouse coordinator Ed Lewis teaches the class.2 / 2

Incoming third-grader Colby Schmid and Ed Lewis, Wadena-Deer Creek's garden and greenhouse coordinator, talk about a budding green bean plant at the new 2,500 square foot garden last Thursday morning. Developed with the help of Stimulating Economic Progress, a Wadena non-profit, it's not an ordinary garden. A combination of paper, soil and wood chips prevents weed growth and evaporation of soil moisture, preventing the need for irrigation and fertilizer. If the low maintenance method is successful at the school, STEM hopes to expand it to encourage young people to join the farming profession. The tomatoes, carrots, lettuce, strawberries and other fruits and vegetables grown in the garden will be used in WDC's summer food service program. Through Aug. 15, breakfast (7:30-8:30 a.m.) and lunch (11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.) is available free of charge to all kids under 18 years old at WDC elementary.