On a bright and sunny Saturday morning in January, parents, students, teachers and staff gathered at Floyd Elementary School amid the sprawl of the school’s very own garden, where they were obviously delighted to play witness to a $500 donation from the Pahrump Valley Garden Club.
Scot Troter is a day custodian at Floyd Elementary as well as a leader for the University of Nevada Cooperative Extension’s Master Gardeners and he’s brought all of his knowledge and skill to the school’s garden. With collaboration from school staff and parents, he’s helped build an area where he and teachers can spend time with students, educating them all about the wonders of nature and how food grows, and Troter’s efforts have not gone unnoticed.
Fellow Master Gardener Janet Lubera told the Pahrump Valley Times, “Scot’s amazing. He’s a natural leader and very knowledgeable too. And when you start at this young age, it’s not a foreign idea to them anymore. They can go into the store and say, ‘Oh, I saw a tree with those kinds of apples on it, I know where apples come from.’”
Pahrump Valley Garden Club members are some of Troter’s biggest admirers and they were thrilled to be out on Jan. 25 to present a check to Troter and Floyd Elementary School Principal Lori Metscher.
“We have an annual fundraiser, it’s our landscape tour,” Pahrump Valley Garden Club President Sandy Nelson explained for those gathered at the school garden. “It’s done every year in May and the funds we raise during our landscape tour we like to give back to the community. So on behalf of the Pahrump Valley Garden Club, we’d very much like to donate to the Floyd Elementary School Garden $500.”
A round of raucous applause followed the presentation before the group turned its attention to other pursuits, including devouring the “eat the rainbow” meal that had been prepared for the morning’s activities.
Troter offered some background on how the Floyd School Garden came to be, detailing, “Jan. 27, 2018 was the day! Parents and students at Floyd Elementary School in Pahrump helped ‘Green Our Planet’ to complete a six-bed raised garden on the south grounds of the school.”
Once the soil was in place and the irrigation installed, Troter said lettuce, beets, carrots, parsley and Swiss chard were all planted in the raised beds, where they grew into healthy, delicious produce.
“The students, as they went to STEAM (Science, technology, engineering, arts and mathematics) class, harvested the produce for many weeks,” Troter said. “The produce was given out at parent events at the school. Green Our Planet also provided curriculum for each grade level on garden subjects like insects, soils, fertilizer and much more.”
Over the last two years, several additions have been made to the garden, including a shed, a composter and a pollinator garden. Donations from the Pahrump Master Gardeners and school staff funded the purchase of several benches that have been placed around the garden area, creating an outdoor classroom. Previous donations from the Pahrump Valley Garden Club and the Pahrump Elks Lodge #2796 also funded a weather station for the school.
As for the $500 donation made that morning, Troter stated, “Floyd Elementary School Garden Club has two projects that have been started, but waiting for further funds to complete. One is an eight-sided herb bed and the other is a ‘bug hotel’ that we hope will attract native solitary bees like ‘hover flies’ and ‘cut bees’ that work together with hive-type honey bees to pollinate plants that provide us with food. So the donation is much appreciated and will be well used.”
Also looking to the future, Troter said the school garden club will be fundraising to cover the cost of more benches as well as a sensory garden for pre-K students.
“The future looks green as students learn that food comes from the garden, it doesn’t just magically appear at the store,” Troter concluded.
Contact reporter Robin Hebrock at firstname.lastname@example.org