WINSLOW – Little gardens can go a long way.

Some Winslow High School seniors say they’ve realized that in recent weeks after caring for five miniature organic gardens contained in box frames outside the school. Students and teachers plan to begin the harvest this coming week, donating the vegetables to the Vassalboro Food Pantry.

The gardening lessons, led by physics teacher Corbin Brace, are a new addition to the “life topics” class taught by Jeff Wickman that includes 29 students in two sessions.

Friday morning, several of those students grabbed shovels, bags of mulch and watering cans as they tended to the gardens, which are in 4-foot by 4-foot wooden boxes against a south-facing brick wall. Students dug holes in between the boxes and planted chives.

Also in the gardens are beets, carrots, spinach, lettuce, radishes, kale and broccoli.

Tyler Averill, 19, said he thought the gardening lessons would be “dumb” at first. But he soon changed his mind as he was inspired to create his own mini-garden at home, growing tomatoes, cucumbers, peas and basil that he gave to his mom on Mother’s Day.

“I didn’t realize how much you could actually grow in a small space,” Averill said.

Johnny’s Selected Seeds of Winslow donated $1,000 in materials, Home Depot and Ware-Butler of Waterville donated lumber and tools, and a $650 Oak Grove Coburn Foundation grant paid for seeds, soil and mulch. Students volunteered to build the garden frames after school, Brace said.