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Two Senior Projects Go Green

Several students chose eco-friendly senior projects to see what all the organic fuss was about.

The world is going green and Sequoyah’s seniors are doing the same.

seniors are getting involved in eco-friendly activities this year mainly due to the senior project. Many students, like Kristin Keefer and Elizabeth Mitchell, chose to do organic gardening for their projects.

For Kristin Keefer, healthy living has become a way of life. Keefer decided to have her own garden plot at the where she grew kale, turnips, carrots, and beets.

“I picked this for a number of reasons," Keefer said. “First and foremost, I want to major in Environmental Science in college, and thought this would be a great start. Also in that regard, I wanted to see for myself the difficulty associated with growing food naturally and without the ‘help’ of pesticides.”

After working more than 30 hours on her project Keefer said, “I loved actually experiencing growing and taking care of something that was totally my responsibility. Instead of just reading about growing food, I was the one doing the work."

Keefer said it was much harder than just dropping seeds in soil.

“Not only do you have to be aware of the pH of the soil, but also the health of the soil itself which involves numerous factors (microorganisms, weeds, etc). Picking the seeds was also difficult with spacing and nutrient sharing or stealing. Probably the most difficult aspect was appreciating both sides: organic and conventional without an overwhelming bias,” Keefer said.

Like Keefer, Mitchell planted her own organic garden, but her garden was in her backyard. Organic gardens require an abundance of time and materials to really get started.

Mitchell’s project totaled more than 46 hours and she said, “I bought most of my plants at Pike's Nursery or started them from seeds.”

To fulfill the learning requirement of the project, Mitchell focused on the effects of fungicides and pesticides on the plants.

“I learned how to manage my time with watering, and learned patience,” Mitchell said. “I also learned a lot about cool season plants.”

Although gardening was an enjoyable experience for Mitchell there were some unpleasant aspects of her project.

“The worst part was dealing with a mole, and not having enough sunlight in my house. I ended up creating a plant shelf in order to get more sunlight, and killed the bugs that the moles were after.”

Both seniors conquered their organic gardening and in the end both enjoyed their projects despite minor difficulties.

Mitchell said, “I have always been interested in gardening, and I thought playing in the dirt would be fun. I loved my project; it taught me a lot about what I want to do in my future career.”

Keefer also said, “I learned that growing food in general is not as easy as it seems, and to appreciate the agriculture industry as a whole. I learned that numerous factors play into the success of a crop and that organic is doable on a large scale.”

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