Seven Generations Charter School students builds herb garden
Fifth grade students who attend Seven Generations Charter School, in Emmaus, built a colonial herb garden recently at the 1803 House as part of their history curriculum.
Students have been learning how the town of Emmaus grew from just two settlers to a thriving Moravian community. Working closely with their teachers, Alison Panik and Brook Graves and the Friends of the 1803 House (the site of the home of one of the founding fathers of Emmaus, Jacob Ehrenhardt), Seven Generations Charter School students read firsthand accounts of daily life in the Emmaus village and researched colonial trades, medicine and cooking. One of their investigations focused specifically on the use of herbs in colonial times. Another focused on beekeeping in Colonial America.
Students also learned how to be beekeepers as they maintain the two top-bar beehives built by the first class of fifth graders in the school. After losing their first colony of bees, students determined more summer-flowering plants are needed in the neighborhood of the school.
When members of the 1803 House mentioned their desire to have a colonial herb garden, a service learning project was born.
Last year's fifth grade students researched and identified the colonial herbs that would best suit the garden, designed garden plans and determined the best location for the garden on the 1803 House property.
When those fifth graders graduated to sixth grade, they engaged in a hands-on archaeological dig of the garden site. They found so much historical evidence, the 1803 House decided to continue the dig for another season.
So this year's fifth graders designed, planned and built raised bed gardens on an adjacent site of the property. They hope to eventually relocate the garden on the original site when the excavation is completed.