Bay Ridge

St. Anselm Academy students nurture their gardens

April 13, 2018 Brooklyn Daily Eagle
The students carefully look after the tiny gardens they planted this semester in school. Photo courtesy of Saint Anselm Catholic Academy

Fourth graders at Saint Anselm Catholic Academy are learning important lessons about drought-stricken regions of the world by working with their hands.

The students at the Bay Ridge Catholic school are busy taking care of the keyhole gardens they planted after studying how the organization Catholic Relief Services (CRS) has used the keyhole garden technique to help residents living in areas suffering from drought. 

Keyhole gardens are designed to use recycled material and used water to grow certain types of crops.  Cardboard is used in the keyhole garden to hold in moisture, a practice that reduces need for frequent watering. Gravel filters are employed to enable gardeners to use dishwater to water their crops.   

St. Anselm Catholic Academy is a pre-k to eighth grade school located at 356 83rd St. in bay Ridge. 

Students recently viewed a video produced by CRS showing how residents in a remote village constructed a keyhole garden out of cardboard, leaves and tin cans, school officials said.

Under the supervision of teacher Christine Deem, the children created individual versions of keyhole gardens using recycled materials. The school provided plastic soda caps to students who did not have access to spray bottles at home and required an alternate watering method. 

Deem serves as the teacher in St. Anselm’s Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) lab.

With Deem’s help, each student planted wheatgrass and an herb of their choice: basil, parsley or thyme. The youngsters also got to bring their tiny gardens home.