Titan Times

“Hortus Romanus”…The Sequel

A section of the Roman Gardens.

A section of the Roman Gardens.

Aaliyah Tribble, Reporter

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After years of off and on success, Dr. Tim Spence’s “Hortus Romanus” project has successfully rooted its way into Latin classes. This time, hopefully for good.

Originally sprouting from project-based learning innovations, the Roman Garden is aimed at giving back to the community.

“Our main goal is to grow different types of vegetables and give them to the RAM house, to help our community and people who are in need to have these healthy fresh foods,” said compost team member Emily Sturgeon (10).

The Roman Garden first broke ground with classes about five years ago. Since then, it has had various setbacks and factors affecting its progression. But now, Dr. Spence thinks it can overcome these drawbacks and continue to grow.

“Not every year has had success,” said Dr. Spence. “There have been a couple of years where the personalities of the classroom just didn’t allow for it [the garden]. But last year was good, we really kind of revived it last year and this year I think it’s really moving forward very well.”

Some students create a plan for what they need to do before they even go outside so they can make the most of their time and keep the garden in the shape that it is.

“We just try to remember we’re out in the garden, to make the most of it, not goof around when we are outside, and also just to make sure we are keeping track of what needs to be watered, and when it’s going to get cold at night,” said outdoor garden team member Jayde Dudley (11).

Consisting of spinach, cabbage, basil, and more, the Roman Garden will have much work done on it this year.

“We have people building us greenhouses and someone building another compost. We also have someone bringing in a storage shed, so we are getting the supplies we actually need to make it run, and make it run throughout the winter and house all the items,” said fundraising team member Victoria Worrell (12).

Though the garden has been a success, both Dr. Spence and his students have been working hard to keep it that way for classes to come.

“The big challenge for me is to get an institutional memory together, which is also very Roman.  The Romans wrote down everything. They had records for everything, and the only way that this year’s information will be learned and can be carried on to next year is if we have written documentation of what we’ve learned and what we’ve gone through, so that’s also a part of the project is preserving it for the next group to come in and keep the project going,” said Dr. Spence.

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“Hortus Romanus”…The Sequel