The student news site of Northwest High School in Jackson, Michigan

The Moxie Mountie

The student news site of Northwest High School in Jackson, Michigan

The Moxie Mountie

The student news site of Northwest High School in Jackson, Michigan

The Moxie Mountie

Northwest High School adopts a green thumb

Alondra Mata
Geldersma watering his vegetation


   In protecting and giving back to the planet, people may struggle to find ways to do so. As complex as devoting oneself to the Earth’s environment may sound, there are several ways people can aid in preserving the terrain.

Science teacher Josh Geldersma (Alondra Mata) 

   Since the science department’s greenhouse was built over the spring of 2023 many students were able to contribute a helping hand to Science teacher Josh Geldersma before school was out for summer break. Students aided Geldersma in the initial process of putting soil into the greenhouse. 

   This time-consuming step would have taken Geldersma alone weeks to accomplish but with the help from his students, they managed to finish within one school day. 

   A key reason Geldersma strived to get the greenhouse prepared for use so quickly was to give support to homes within the community with food insecurities. With the help from the non-profit organization Grow Jackson, Geldersma was able to work on building a second greenhouse to be able to quicken the process. 

   Within the greenhouse, a variety of vegetables were able to be planted. The assortment of produce ranges from squash, tomatoes, peppers, and especially beans. These plants perform exceptionally well with nitrogen fixation, which is bacteria in the soil that helps fix the nitrogen by supplying other plants with vital nutrients in the air that they cannot obtain on their own.

   Although cucumbers were also planted, their growth failed for unknown causes. Through the process of trial and error as well as experimenting, Geldersma hopes to plant additional greens for the upcoming spring.

   While most of the work being put into the greenhouses took place over summer break, not many students had the opportunity to get involved. Nonetheless, when the school year began, former Green Club members were eager to aid Geldersma. 

   Senior Bek Dillay has been a devoted attribute to Green Club for almost a year. Dillay expresses their passion for environmental awareness by participating in Green Club.

   Not only is Dillay able to get a better understanding working one-on-one with the growing produce, but they also have an opportunity to ask questions and learn more in-depth information about the process the plants go through. 

   “The greenhouse is our biggest success so far,” said Dillay. “I hope we will have more success with involvement in our school soon.”

   With the idea of having more involvement, Geldersma wishes to see the school help out with composting. This would include collecting clean paper-based materials and food waste to use as natural fertilizer.

   As the temperature continues to drop nearing winter, Geldersma plans to begin planting fall crops to accommodate the weather. Root and lettuce vegetables like spinach and radish are mainly fall and winter crops since they do not require much root depth to grow. 

   Although his winter plans remain somewhat uncertain, his ideas on the other hand run wild. Geldersma hopes to grow his greenhouses into bigger projects to further help families within the community.

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About the Contributor
Alondra Mata
Alondra Mata, Editor-in-Chief
Alondra is a Senior Varsity Cheerleader and Soccer player who enjoys painting and creating crafts with her friends.    “If you see me and you trynna see what’s up, SKEEE-YEEE” - Sexxy Red