Loreto Learn About Lettuce and Lending to the Locals
On a breezy Monday morning mentors Elmer and Laurie visited the Loreto Secondary School in Kilkenny and met a shivering group of first and fourth year students. The aim was to build, plant, and donate two window boxes to the Troyscourt Homes for the elderly in St. Canice’s parish in record time!
The students split into two groups, and set to work with the Susliving kits they received. The two teams, first years versus fourth years, dived into the challenge of hammering, measuring and screwing the pieces of recycled wood together and the first years proved themselves to be a tough team to beat. They took a bit of practice to get the nails in straight, and one of the pieces of wood may have been the wrong way around, but their box was successfully crafted! The fourth years favoured using screws over nails, but the result was a strong and solid box that was soon ready to be filled with bright flowers.
The students learnt that having a few handfuls of gravel at the bottom of their window boxes would benefit the plants, as it allowed the rain water to drain quickly. A highlight of the session was smashing a piece of terracotta pot in order to make smaller pieces that would aid drainage. Who knew gardening is good for pent-up frustration during exam time? After screaming at the prospect of touching soil, the students filled the window boxes with leaf mulch and compost. A decision was then made to plant herbs, lettuce and microgreens in one box and colourful pansies, geraniums and petunias in the other one.
After the window boxes were planted and watered, the students planted three wildlife attracting shrubs by the pedestrian entrance to Loreto School. Four holes were dug in the grass for the three shrubs! The students pretended not to notice and covered the evidence with bark mulch. Sorry to the grounds man Dave!