Manhattan Catholic Schools creates victory garden to grow hope, positivity in the community

Local News

MANHATTAN, Kan. (KSNT) — Inspired by a vintage activity, Manhattan Catholic Schools has found a unique way to grow some hope in their community.

The school’s STREAM Coordinator Patsy Johnson came up with the idea to create a victory garden. STREAM stands for science, technology, religion, engineering, arts and math.

“We started the victory garden as kind of a sign of hope and positivity for our families to be able to come out and have some bonding time and just get out in the garden,” Johnson said.

In an effort to keep her students learning outside of school, she decided to start the victory garden for students and their families.

“They get to sign up for a day and time that’s a recurring time throughout the summer and then we don’t have anybody bumping into each other and the families just get to have the whole garden to themselves,” Johnson said.

For soon-to-be fourth-grader Emma O’haver, she already knows a thing or two about gardening.

“I’ve gardened before,” O’Haver said. “We have a few plants at home. We have some flowers. You have to make sure you water them at the right time and you can’t over water them or you’re going to drown them.”

Victory gardens in the United States date all the way back to the first World War as a way to boost morale, express patriotism and prevent food shortages. When the second World War came, the gardens reemerged.

“They were just a sign of hope and that we’re planting and we’re planning and we’re waiting on the future. We’re still here. That’s kind of what we’re offering our families right now,” O’Haver said.

Now, the United States is fighting a different kind of battle against the coronavirus.

But just like back then, they’ll continue planting seeds in the victory garden with the hope that we will overcome this battle too.

Johnson said half of what they grow at the garden will actually be donated to a local food bank to teach students the importance of giving back to their community.

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