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Phi Mu Sorority Builds Herb Spiral in Oxford Middle School Garden

By Alyssa Schnugg
Staff writer

This week, Phi Mu Sorority and Samuels Construction demonstrated the importance of community and collaboration at Oxford Middle School, by helping provide the supplies and labor for building a new herb spiral and cleaning the garden on campus.

Phi Mu members plant an herb spiral in the Oxford Middle School garden.

An herb spiral garden creates a variety of microclimates. Some plants, need dry, sandy soil conditions, while others require a moist, bottomland type of soil. The herb spiral accommodates these needs, the top is a warm, dry area that gets plenty of sun. The bottom is cool, shady and moist.

“The middle is, well, in between the two,” said Eleanor Green, director of Good Food for Oxford Schools. “Herbs that need drier soil drain easily, and plants that desire moister conditions receive water that flows from above.”

The Good Food for Oxford School’s mission is to use farm-to-school principles to bring local farm produce into school cafeterias that serve more cooked-from-scratch and fresh menu items while also educating students and their families on the importance of eating well.

The new spiral garden will start off with cilantro, rosemary, thyme and oregano.

Samuel’s Construction donated and delivered the bricks that were used to build a large herb spiral. The Phi Mu sorority from The University of Mississippi volunteered their time and labor for the garden.

The OMS garden is used by several classes for educational activities. Last year purple sweet potatoes were grown and harvested and then prepared and served by the OMS cafe team as part of the Thanksgiving meal.

“The OMS cafe team has been asking for herbs to utilize in cooking school meals and we are happy that through our community partnerships we are able to make that a reality,” said Eleanor Green, director of GFOS.

This is the third herb spiral in a school district garden, according to Green.

The first was built at Della Davidson Elementary School in the spring of 2017 as part of a Big Event project lead by former GFOS FoodCorps service member Elizabeth Speed. Another was added to the garden that serves Oxford Intermediate School as part of Carrot Camp summer in 2017.

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