HMS Garden

The Hastings Middle School (HMS) Garden is located on the west side of the middle school (201 N Marian Rd, Hastings NE 68901). The lead sponsor for the garden is Jayson Stoddard. Jayson is a 7th grade science teacher for HMS. Jayson’s passion for the garden is evident, as he spends several hours everyday tending to the garden. 

If you aren’t familiar with the garden, it is well worth a visit. The garden covers a great area of land and includes a dome greenhouse, a kid’s area, hammock hangout spots, and huge wood dining tables. 

The garden has a large group of sponsors and supporters, however they are hoping to continue to grow the community's connection. The current group has established a list of goals. 

These goals include but are not limited to: 

- Giving people a reason to get outside!!! Especially young kids. 
- A learning space for those of ALL ages.
- Creating a safe place for people of any personality, age, and background.
- A home away from home.
- Provide more access to fresh food for everyone. 
- Reduce food miles. 
- Reduce food waste. 
- Economic impacts by keeping our money in our community. 

They have worked to accomplish these goals by:

- Providing a safe and engaging atmosphere. 
- Working towards having a complete set of multilingual signage. 
- Making the greenhouse and garden wheelchair accessible. 
- Creating a give, grab, grow table. The idea behind the table is to either donate extra     produce you may have from your own garden, to prevent waste. Or, on the other side,   to allow those who may not have access to fresh produce to have a place to come   retrieve it. 
- Looking into working with local food vendors to, again reduce food miles, and keep   our money local. 

In the near future the group is hoping to experiment more with robotic gardening, cooking and canning techniques, and building a natural playscape. The design and push for the playscape, as well as many colorful additions to the garden in the last year comes from 6th grade science teacher Casey Martin. 

The garden group can’t accomplish all that they do without the help they’ve had from local businesses, farmers, and individuals in the community. 

We encourage you to participate in connecting our community further through the HMS garden. During active gardening months of the year, meetings are held on Monday nights from 6:00pm - 7:30pm (meeting time will change as we receive less daylight). These meetings are open to the public and usually include a meal, light conversations, and of course gardening! More details for these meetings can be found on the HMS Garden’s Facebook page or on their new website.