The students at St. Helena Arts and Technology Academy got to dig in the dirt while experiencing the process and the importance of planting a garden.

Ahmad R. Robertson, assistant area agriculture and natural resource agent with the LSU and Southern University agricultural centers, visited St. Helena Arts and Technology Academy on Oct. 27 to demonstrate best practices of a fall garden.

The students learned tips for plant spacing, location, transplanting, irrigation, mulching and cultivating of two vegetable plots.

The sixth-grade science and 4-H students planted winter crop vegetables and cool season bedding plants in the school’s butterfly garden. 

The School Garden Project is a program where volunteers and the staff work together to provide youth with hands on, fun, research-based educational opportunities.

St. Helena College and Career Horticulture Academy, Louisiana Master Gardener Nina Briley and Youth Coordinator Toni Melton landscaped the school garden, Robertson said.

“Gardens provide a site for hands-on learning and to practice using the scientific methods,” Robertson said. “The youth are excited about eating fruits and vegetables that they grow themselves.”