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October 4, 2012 / Rick Swann

New School Garden at Lincoln School in Seattle

In 1918, when the Seattle School District was an enthusiastic participant in the United States School Garden Army Program, Lincoln High School wintered over 20,000 cabbage plants in this greenhouse that they distributed to schools with gardens in the spring. Back then, the school district had a full time school garden educator at the school district offices who coordinated gardens throughout the district. The district purchased 30,000 pounds of seed potatoes for use by students and 10,000 packets of seeds. In 1919 students produced $100,000 worth of fruits and vegetables which, adjusted for inflation, would be $1,300,000 worth of produce in 2012. Some of the gardens were huge–the Emerson School Garden, for instance, was a half acre in size. The superintendent at the time, Frank Cooper, was a supporter of hands-on learning and said gardening was important because, “the child studies THINGS…not through the eyes of the textbooks, but through his own.”

Now Lincoln is once again getting a school garden. Lowell APP @ Lincoln is building both a vegetable garden and a native garden. Two weeks ago they built two enormous raised beds. To read more about their efforts and to see pictures of the garden check out their web site at:  Now we just need the green house to be fixed up!

Lincoln School greenhouse in Seattle.

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