Garden of Learning

Garden of Learning

The Garden of Learning was built in 2004 for the children of St. Perpetua.  It was created and designed to enhance classroom curriculum by fostering a sense of wonder for all things in nature and an appreciation for organic gardening.

Our "little Master Gardeners" are involved in every aspect of gardening - -  sowing seeds, planting seedlings, cultivating, then harvesting the fruits of their labors.  Every child at St. Perpetua School attends organic gardening lessons in the garden. For example, first graders learn that our pesticide and our chemical-free environment allows the good bugs to survive and eat the bad bugs.  Second, third, and fourth grade students learn that our garden is fertilized only with compost and that composting helps reduce landfills.  Fifth graders' science curriculum regarding plant production will be integrated into a hands-on experience in the Garden. Our junior high students not only help maintain the garden, but learn about local, seasonal crops; that their produce doesn't need to travel hundreds or even thousands of miles.

In addition to providing hands-on science and environmental lessons, our garden inspires artistic expression.  Hand-painted signs, rocks, tables and benches, decorative flags, and mosaic creations adorn our garden.  Before graduating, our eighth graders create stepping-stones using special keepsakes from home.

We are first and foremost a Catholic school, so our garden is most importantly a place of prayer and reflection.  The Stations of the Cross were created by a seventh grade art class and occupy a place of honor in the Garden and Are used for outside prayer services during Lent.
One Cup of Coffee at a Time

Cafe Perpetua was established on the school campus as a fund-raising tool to support the Garden of Learning.

The Cafe is normally open on Friday mornings during the school year from 7:20 - 9:30 a.m.  Teachers, staff, parents, parishioners, and alumni parents linger over morning lattes and homemade breakfast fare in a warm, friendly setting.

The Cafe also stocks culinary delights created by the children from produce grown in the Garden.  The children are so pleased when they learn to cook dishes from their own organically grown crops.  They are proud to contribute to the Garden's continued growth through the sales of their lovingly prepared goodies.  Favorites are zucchini and pumpkin breads, apple cakes, minestrone soup, basil pesto, and salsas.

In addition to generous donations from individuals in the school and parish communities, Cafe Perpetua is the main financial support of the Garden of Learning.

The Garden also hosts preschool tours in the fall and spring.  Preschools from the surrounding areas come for a "Walk, Talk, and Taste Tour".  This includes story reading, a tour of the garden where they taste samples of seasonal fruits and veggies, help feed the chickens, learn about composting. and create a garden craft to take home.

The Garden of Learning was created, built and is maintained year round by Master Gardener, Monette Meo, and her husband, Greg Meo.