Despite the wet spring, yesterday over 200 students from Westridge elementary school of West Des Moines came to Iowa Gardening for Good and help catch up on vegetable planting. Four buses arrived with third- and sixth-graders that came as part of a service project to help plant vegetables that will be grown and donated to food pantries in the Des Moines area.


The students were divided into groups and rotated between stations that included transplanting peppers, planting potatoes, zucchini, turnips and cabbage. They also planted some cucumber, cantaloupe and watermelon seeds into seeding trays that are normally planted in the ground, but the wet conditions have prevented getting into the field.


The students were great, said Tracy Blackmer, the director of Iowa Gardening for Good. They had so much energy, wanted to learn and wanted to help others that need food. It was also neat to watch the sixth-graders work as part of a buddy system with the third-graders. I think many of the students want to come back to see how the plants they planted are doing and actually harvest them.


The group had originally planned to come out earlier, but had to reschedule due to wet conditions. I am very thankful the group could reschedule and help us get our planting back on track. They were a great group that accomplished a lot and seemed to have a lot of fun in the process.