Students at NSU Elementary Lab School studied Victory Gardens during the school year, learning about their history and significance to the country. Lessons combined history, science, reading, direction following, utilizing library resources and growing the food.
During WWII citizens in the U.S. planted Victory Gardens, which alleviated the pressure put on the public food supply. Also a morale booster during the war, the produce from these gardens helped lower the price of feeding troops.
Randall Mallette, assistant extension agent with the LSU AgCenter in Natchitoches, helped students test the pH of the soil. Don Brown, an agent with Farm Bureau, connected School Librarian Lisa Wiggins with farmers in the area for garden soil and fertilizer as part of the Louisiana Farm Bureau Federation’s “Ag in the Classroom” initiative.
Wiggins issued an independent project challenging students to grow their own Victory Gardens at home. Students were required to keep a log of their gardening.
Judges included Biology students from the Louisiana School for Math, Science and the Arts (LSMSA); a Natchitoches Master Gardener and a 4-H County Agent. Gardens were judged using a rubric with a point system that measured whether the students met the required goals.
Around 100 students in grades K-5 participated. Six students were selected as Grand Champions. Farm Bureau presented them with prizes for their hard work.
Grand Champion: Molly Coleman
First Place: Victoria Wiggins
Second Place: Jacob and Madelyn Roquemore
Third Place: Joelee Savell
Fourth Place: Reagan Delcambre
Wiggins also registered the school’s garden as an Official Victory Garden through The National WWII Museum’s “The Classroom Victory Garden Project.”