Saturday, January 20, 2018

Welcome to Tom R. Ellisor Elementary's Garden and Outdoor Classroom!

While this is the start of our school's garden blog, our garden club has been in full swing since last year. We started the garden in the fall of 2016 with a handful of dedicated teachers, the support of our school's administration, over 40 enthusiastic and energetic kids, numerous parents and grandparents, and a gazillion ideas! It took some time to construct the plot for our garden and start the fundraising, but as of today, we have a fully fenced garden, two vegetable beds, a container garden of succulents and cacti, a wildflower garden, and decorative containers with annuals at the entrance to our school. 
In addition, we are part of the Junior Master Gardener program, a nationwide organization and Texas A&M Agrilife Extension. Because of this program, we have the opportunity to work with the Master Gardener Association who provide us with outstanding horticultural training through lessons, creating gardens, and more. We have twice been mentioned in the Conroe Courier about our work in the garden and outdoor classroom! Yay, Ellisor!

We also have an ongoing fundraiser called Lettuce Turnip the Beet for students to pick a song for a dollar to be played while students leave morning assembly. They love this! In October we raised funds by selling tickets to win a GIGANTIC pumpkin! One lucky 5th grader went home with the pumpkin! 

Our school's spring fundraiser is the Hoedown and Chili Throwdown in April. Last week, our Master Gardener volunteers helped our kids get several herbs started by seed. At the Hoedown, we will have lots of opportunities to buy these homegrown herbs, as well as, the opportunity to make your mark on our garden by painting your very own picket that borders our garden for all to see!

This weekend we plan to start an earthworm farm, build and plant a historical garden, plant native grasses in our tire planters, start the sunflower garden for a future fundraiser, and general garden maintenance. It should be a busy and fun event! I look forward to updating you with our activities, as well as, the growth and learning of our students and their gardening experiences!

Here are a few pics from the beginning. Please read the thank you's below, as they are VERY MUCH deserved!


The incredible success of our school garden could not have been achieved without the enduring support of several individuals...our supportive and encouraging principal, Coni Felinski; the incredible maintenance staff at Ellisor; the hard working students who volunteer their time to work in the dirt, and desire to learn and appreciate the outdoors; their parents, grandparents, and guardians for their labor, donations, and taxi service; our incredible PTO for their support and donations; the knowledgeable and caring volunteers with the Montgomery County Master Gardeners Association; Mr. Jason Howe, our professional sign artist; our local Home Depot for the numerous purchases; 1488 Mulch Yard for their fabulous dirt; D&D Vinyl Fabricators for their fence building expertise; and of course, the teachers at Ellisor for volunteering their time, their love of teaching and gardening, and so much more...Jessica Shore, Catherine Schindler, Ron Wiecker, and Joelin Peek! THANK YOU!

George the Giant Pumpkin has Found a Home!

Xander Little, a 3rd grade student, won George and gets to take him home, as he won our garden's fundraiser! Tickets sold for $1 each an...