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Garden Classroom

The Garden Classroom at ESA is more than just a space for growing plants.  Our biggest purpose for the garden is to be place that sparks curiosity and wonder, a place where students can take ownership for the outcomes of their efforts, and a place where students can learn about nutrition while also gaining tangible life skills.   Our vision for the Garden Classroom is for it to be a place where all the focuses of ESA come together. 

In addition to using the garden as an instrument for learning we also use the garden as a setting for education to take place.  Our teachers are encouraged to venture out to the garden just to have their students sit while surrounded by nature.  We believe that the garden can be a source of inspiration for both work and personal reflection.  That is why we also use our garden space as a calming retreat for students working through difficult emotions.

A yellow and red flower in the ESA Garden
A black and yellow butterfly on an orange flower in the ESA Garden
A red and white flower in the ESA Garden
Seedlings started in red solo cups.

Project-Based Learning

(PBL) is innate in the garden because students work together in groups or as a class to solve real world problems and their efforts are on full display for all to see.  There is a natural trial and error that comes along with gardening which encourages you to continually try new things to solve problems.

An informational board in the ESA Garden listing chores and how they help the garden.

Environmental responsibility

Being in the garden drives home the need for each of us to take responsibility for the environment.  Everything we do in nature has an impact on something else.  Students see that firsthand while working on their garden related projects and will hopefully make personal choices throughout their lives keeping that fact in mind.

An arched trellis in the ESA Garden with noodle beans growing along it for support.


is an integral part of gardening because there is always the need to create something to help the garden come even more alive and it is hard not to be inspired by the garden while you are surrounded by nature's beauty. 

A box of produce gathered from the ESA Garden

Global Citizenship

is addressed through learning about different crops, where certain plants originated from, and how the same crop could have markedly different varieties based on the climates where they grow.  Students also learn about different growing methods used around the world and even within our own communities.   

Another large component of global citizenry that is addressed in the garden is food sustainability and how to make nutritious food available to all regardless of income level.

Luffa & Malabar Spinach
Mound Gardening
Feng Choi
Unripe Blackberries
Heirloom Tomatoes and Fresh Peppers
Jigsaw Pepper Plant