Victory Garden for School

Some of you may know that I have a wonderful hobby other than blogging. I am a science teacher at Oak Hill Christian School over in Reston, VA. I call it a hobby because teaching my students is never a job as they are a delight to work with even though they are teens and pre-teens! I am currently teaching a Botany course which I have to say is the most gratifying class I have ever taught. I may even like it more than Biology which would be rather impossible because I enjoy that so much. Botany has taken us outdoors and into the most fun projects. Our latest project was building a Victory Garden at the school.

Ma and Dad were in town last week and building things is right up my Dad’s alley so he was happy to help out- or do most of the work.

We followed the directions of Mel Bartholomew in building our raised garden. But the thing I am most proud of is my Dad’s design of the Deer Guard. The book pointed us in one direction but Dad came up with an ingenious design that will keep deer out, will be safe around children, and will be easy to lift on and off the garden while still holding its shape.

The book describes permanently screwing the pvc into the frame then covering the frame with plastic which we felt would blow off or would be a pain to cover and uncover. We also did not want to use chicken wire as that could scrape up the students. The guard my Dad designed is all in one piece. He placed hooks and eyes on each corner and threaded two 1/2 inch pvc pipes through each hooks and eyes criss-crossing them at the top. Then he covered the pvc frame with plastic garden fencing using electrical ties as binds.

The children had so much fun helping Dad and I build the garden but I don’t think their parents will be happy with how muddy they got. Heh heh.

My students chose to plant a “Salsa Garden” as their first garden once we pass our last frost and then hope to make a really delicious salsa. If it has to do with food, kids are there!

Thanks Dad for building our Victory Garden! Now I want one for my yard.

Related Posts:
Oak Hill Builds a Victory Garden



  1. Rindy R
    Posted April 22, 2009 at 6:46 AM | Permalink

    I was just thinking about planting some things – but we have so many deer. This garden would keep them out! What a great idea – and cute new hair do my friend! Looks like your all ready for summer!

  2. Mindy
    Posted April 22, 2009 at 6:52 AM | Permalink

    What a great idea! We don’t have problems with deer, but we do with birds and other critters. Definitely trying this on my raised beds!

  3. Melissa
    Posted April 22, 2009 at 7:34 AM | Permalink

    I saw that yesterday and was wandering what it was. A salsa garden sounds like fun!

  4. Sara
    Posted April 22, 2009 at 9:12 AM | Permalink

    So cool – I want to get my garden planted this weekend. Will you be updating us on the garden later in the season?

  5. Robin Sue
    Posted April 22, 2009 at 10:02 AM | Permalink

    Yes! I still have to wait for our last frost before I dare plant anything. Some sites say 4/20 others 4/30, so I’ll wait. I will update frequently as everyone is excited about the project. Thanks for asking.

  6. Sharon
    Posted April 22, 2009 at 10:05 AM | Permalink

    Oh my gosh, that is so exciting! I want to start a garden! =D

  7. noble pig
    Posted April 22, 2009 at 12:22 PM | Permalink

    OMG a salsa garden is perfect for the kids since it will eventually involve a celebration with chips. Kudos to your Dad and nice hair missy!

  8. redforever
    Posted April 22, 2009 at 12:45 PM | Permalink

    Aren’t Dads just the best?

  9. Amanda Mae
    Posted April 22, 2009 at 1:22 PM | Permalink

    That’s so great! I love SFG!

  10. Cate O'Malley
    Posted April 22, 2009 at 1:52 PM | Permalink

    I love the deer guard your Dad made! And a Salsa Garden, how fun!

  11. Elyse
    Posted April 22, 2009 at 2:01 PM | Permalink

    I wish I could’ve taken botany in high school! Your dad did a great job building this garden. It looks fabulous, and the idea of a salsa garden sounds amazing! Your students are so lucky to have such a fun teacher!

  12. Donna and Greg
    Posted April 22, 2009 at 3:29 PM | Permalink

    What a cool idea! Your dad is great to help out! Our vegie beds are in square foot raised beds and we really like it. Don’t have to worry about the deer with our 6′ privacy fence but the chihuahua is a different story! We do have chicken wire around some of them to keep her out!

  13. Karen
    Posted April 22, 2009 at 4:35 PM | Permalink

    Aren’t Dad’s great 🙂 This would be so much fun for kids to have a garden and it will be something they’ll remember always and will probably spark a lifelong love of gardening for some of them. I could never be a school teacher or day care provider and I’ve always been so grateful for those who are!

  14. Mary at My New 30
    Posted April 22, 2009 at 4:55 PM | Permalink

    Hi, I’m Mary – just popping by and can’t even remember how I got here now LOL (can we say blog addiction??) That is so cool for you be doing this project with the kids.

    Anyway, I’ve done my first SFG this year – well, 3 of ’em actually, so I’m hoping for better results. I’m using the All New SFG book too. Lucky you to have such a great dad to lend a hand and his smarts!! My hubs isn’t much in the garden – he’ll lend his back but he’s not into the gardening thing at all.

    No deer here, but plenty of birds, squirrels, field mice and now, raccoons!!

    Well, nice to meet ya! Pop over and visit sometime is ya have a chance!

  15. Sheila
    Posted April 22, 2009 at 5:22 PM | Permalink

    Your dad is great! I should have had him out to our house to help with our little gardening/carpentry project. It was more simple than this, just four posts to form a pyramid for morning glories to grow up.

    Your our the best botany and biology teacher! I have two students who can vouch for that:)

  16. Fiona
    Posted April 22, 2009 at 5:30 PM | Permalink

    That is genius! I have a rabbit problem, and this would be a good solution for next year. This year, I already built a wire-mesh fence, and I got a lot of scratches for my trouble.

    Love SFG! Please update as the garden grows.

  17. Creative Mish
    Posted April 22, 2009 at 7:28 PM | Permalink

    I love square foot gardening. I started doing it over 20 years ago. I moved to a new house and haven’t had a garden for about 4 years! Maybe next year… I can prepare this summer!

  18. lcbannon
    Posted April 22, 2009 at 7:37 PM | Permalink

    Very cool solution, we will be building this for our tomatoes now.
    Thanks to you and Dad….

  19. Josie
    Posted April 22, 2009 at 8:26 PM | Permalink

    What a fun project! These are the sorts of things that actually get kids to like science because it actually applies to the real world – what a great thing you are doing for your students!

  20. That Girl
    Posted April 22, 2009 at 11:10 PM | Permalink

    I think it would be the most fun to be a science teacher!!! I understand why you call it a hobby,

  21. GFE--gluten free easily
    Posted April 23, 2009 at 7:06 AM | Permalink

    That is so awesome! As a former teacher, I can say that I am sure you rock as a teacher. You are full of enthusiasm and ideas. 🙂 Love the picture of you and your dad! Older citizens are underused as volunteers I think. They have so much wisdom and experience to share!


  22. Grace
    Posted April 23, 2009 at 7:46 AM | Permalink

    if i had had a teacher like you in school, maybe i wouldn’t have the brown thumb that i do. 🙂

  23. Karen
    Posted April 23, 2009 at 12:18 PM | Permalink

    Love your dad’s ingenuity!

    Looking forward to garden updates.

  24. Lori
    Posted April 23, 2009 at 5:19 PM | Permalink

    Very cool. What a neat little garden. I can see that you would make one cool teacher!

  25. amanda
    Posted April 27, 2009 at 5:41 PM | Permalink

    I love the deer guard! Does it really keep it’s shape? It looks like the PVC pipes would just spring out straight again, but does the fencing stuff keep it shaped? Thanks to your genius of a dad!

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