What’s growing at Shorewood?

The school’s culinary arts garden blossoms year round


Photo by Finley Stroh

by Finley Stroh, Cub Co-Editor

At first glance, you might just see the tall Shorewood buildings and field that fill the campus, but at a closer look you will find our very own culinary arts garden tucked between the two buildings beside the student parking lot. Behind the gated fence the garden thrives with herbs, vegetables and other plants cared for by WSU master gardeners and Shorewood students.

The Culinary Arts Garden is a place for students and master gardeners alike to come together to learn and practice gardening. In a normal year, students in the culinary arts classes have been able to work closely with the garden, learning from the garden team through in-person presentations and working in the garden during class themselves, but with Covid, they have been unable to do this. Instead, they have adjusted to supporting food banks, and finding new ways to interact and educate the culinary arts classes at Shorewood.

Judy Broom, a Master Gardener and volunteer in the Shorewood Culinary Arts Garden, has been with the garden since 2014, and said the garden is for everyone. “We [welcome] not only students from the culinary program but anyone in the school who just wants to learn a little about the garden and help and get some service hours,” Broom said.

Both sophomore student volunteers in the garden, Connor Hill and Emery Long, said they have helped with lots of different projects in the garden so far and have enjoyed their experience and what they have received out of it.

“Last week, I helped build a compost bin, and the week before we moved dirt and created new places to plant things, and got rid of some branches. It’s fun because I like gardening, and my friends are there,” Hill said. Long says working in the garden is a nice experience. “The master gardeners are very friendly and cooperative, and the environment is relaxed,” Long said.

Long also emphasized that not only has he enjoyed the experience, but he has also been able to receive community service hours out of the opportunity. Said Long: “I keep coming back to it since you’re always doing something new, it never gets old, and everybody who works there is great to be around.”

For students interested in getting involved in the garden, they offer Saturdays and early release Wednesdays as workdays at the garden. Before Covid, they used to have time during the class to work in the garden, which is unfortunately not able to happen at the moment.

“It’s quite different in terms of the garden’s involvement in the classroom when students can actually come out here and be with us. We love talking to them and working with them, so it’s as disappointing for us, as it has been for you guys,” Broom said.

Furthermore, although Covid hasn’t had a big impact on the actual growing of plants, it has had an impact on their mission of education. “The other mission of our garden which is really more important than growing food is education,” Broom said. “That’s why we are here. We’re here to offer education about horticulture and the environment and all things related to that.”

Normally, people in the garden are able to help students learn about things they are interested in and then use what they grow in their culinary arts dinners, which have not been able to occur during the pandemic.

“It certainly was a big bonus that we had working with the gardeners and I really miss that,” said Diana Dillard, the Culinary Arts teacher. “I’m really sad that the culinary students are missing out on that component of the class for sure.”

Despite this, the culinary garden team has stepped up to utilize different ways of educating students, new ways to distribute their harvest not able to be used by

the school to food banks while helping those less fortunate, all while remaining hopeful for the future and present in their work today.

In terms of connecting with the culinary arts classes, the garden team shared virtual video presentations with students instead of the in-person presentations they gave in normal years.“We have lots of dreams, we want a new garden shed, and a greenhouse and all kinds of stuff,” Judy Broom said.

Dillard recognizes, appreciates and praises the gardeners for their love and dedication to the garden. “The gardens are so inspiring to me and all of their (the gardeners) hard work, and their commitment to our program is phenomenal…I mean the work that they put in there I think is really special to have that here on campus,” she said.

Furthermore, Dillard invites students to come walk and enjoy the garden, and she urges students to be respectful of the garden and the hard work. “We don’t want it to be just culinary arts. We want to share it with Shorewood,” she said.

Broom feels confident that work with students will resume hopefully soon.  “I hope that we’ll be able to get back in the classroom and that we will be able to work directly with students again. And I think that’s going to happen, I’m pretty positive about that,” Broom said.



Check out this link to become a student volenteer in the garden!