At the school year’s end we ask all the students what they remember about the year’s activities and lessons and share a few of their favorites. The answers are always fun to hear: Garden nibbles! Carrots! Taking down the bean teepees, Planting, Eating, Harvesting, Pulling out the old Kale Plants, Making a salad right from the garden, Putting up the bean teepees and more. It helps the farm team see the garden through their eyes and gives us all time to reflect. It’s always clear that the students love the garden and love spending time therein.
Primary students in Kindergarten through grade two did some reviewing of our garden song: Roots, Stems, Leaves, Flowers, Seeds and Fruit. We took it to the next level by going out into the garden and finding all the parts of the plants that we eat. After thinking and finding the parts, we collected each part for a delicious garden burrito. The outcome of this garden lesson was a big hit with the students and some questions did come up that led to learning about the life cycle of plants. For instance: Where is the fruit? The apples aren’t ready to eat yet, so how do we collect fruit? We learned that the part of the plant that produces the seeds is the fruit and the peas are producing in abundance right now, an excellent addition to our garden burritos!
The carrots in our hoop house are ready for picking and all the students were able to pull a carrot out of the ground and eat these popular roots for the first time this spring. Satisfaction guaranteed in both harvest and tasting!
Recently, Grade three students said goodbye to the garden by examining leaves. They took time to draw the leaves and to used words to describe shape, color, and texture of the varied leaves in the garden. It gave students the freedom to sit in a favorite spot and observe the life around them. Observations multiplied into finding ladybugs, noticing that the delicious sorrel leaf is going to seed and that there are quite a few birds nesting in the thickets nearby.
There seems to be no limit to the delights and discoveries the students can make given a little time in the garden. When asked, ‘did anything surprise you?’, the answers were plentiful. Children who visit the garden weekly and participate in the work of preparing, planting, and harvesting can be surprised by what they find when they are guided to look at the garden from a different angle. There’s really no limit to their involvement with growing, nature and food. The garden is a living science lab that nourishes both our bodies and minds. Here’s what some of our students had to say: