Belmont High School — Now at the close of its second summer, the Belmont High School Garden and Food Justice Club held a ribbon cutting ceremony this past Monday, August 17th, to celebrate the garden’s success and recent improvements. In attendance were members of the community that made this project possible, including students, BHS Principal Dan Richards, and community supporters.
The student-led club founded the High School’s first vegetable garden in the spring of 2014. With support from The Belmont Food Collaborative, the garden is a continuation of the organization’s “Community Growing” project, with the goal of providing organically-raised produce for the local Belmont Food Pantry. Community members care for several other gardens around town. The BHS Garden is cared for by students during the school year and summer and during the non-growing season the club hosts a Winter Food Drive, as well as other projects and trips.
During its first summer, the garden’s four beds hosted tomatoes, eggplant, bush beans, broccoli and beets, with seedling donations from Belmont Acres Farms. Now in its second season, the garden received a grant from The Whole Kids Foundation to finance cedar post fencing and blueberry bushes.
Many individuals have made this possible: Thanks to Principal Dan Richards and Fred Domenici, Head of Grounds, at BHS; Mike Chase of Belmont Acres Farm for seedling donations; Joan Teebagy of the Belmont Food Collaborative for writing The Whole Kids Grant; Suzanne Johannet of the Belmont Food Collaborative for her guidance and practical support; and Michael LaPierre of ML Fencing for donating the fence-installation labor.
The student founders of the club, Olivia Cronin and Maggie O’Brien, are recent graduates, and leave the garden in the able hands of four new leaders, Ammu Dinesh, Brett Koslowsky, Alena Jaeger, and Ann Pan. The club hopes to continue expanding, increasing the BHS Community’s involvement in the garden and promoting conversation about sustainable growing and food insecurity in Belmont and beyond.