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Saturday, February 21, 2009

Saturday in the Garden

The garden is nearly planted. We still must transplant peppers from the greenhouse and tomatoes. We also have squash to plant, seeds to buy this weekend. The sage is up. The crape myrtles have both shown leaves now and appear to be quite healthy. The long awaited water melons, planted in Winter Term, are also finally showing their calyx.

The wildflowers -- which turned out to be sunflowers and marigolds as well as others -- are taking shape quickly. The sunflowers have entered a new phase of growth, doubling in size this week and starting their way skyward. The herb bed has many thing sprouting, although the chives looked a little dry. Out at the far end, the Three Sisters have exploded, large beans, shooting corn, squash.

The marigolds were all slammed pretty hard by the frost a few weeks ago and still work toward recovery, but 2/3 of them seem to have survived. We have carrots coming up, two kinds, and the snap peas are growing at an alarming rate. All over the garden the promise of April's harvest breaks through the surface and starts its steady collection of solar energy.

It has been a crazy two weeks, three. Lakewood teachers like to bring their students out and we like to see them. We are all also learning how to grow a garden. Growing a garden is as much about community and relationships as it is about plants and food. We work in staggered shifts,sometimes many of us, sometimes just a few.

Our eyes are turned in two directions at once. We must watch the these sacred seeds, nurture and cultivate and care for and respect. We must do the same for the children. Always watching, always on notice. What's more, we must watch each other's work and learn from each others' mistakes and cover each others' backs and make sure our own community is solid. All of this for just three credits.

Mere mortals would shrink from the task. We embrace it. For all of the challenges and early mornings and long meetings and misunderstandings, the garden stands as a thing of beauty already; its presence marks a change of revolutionary proportions. In my own neighborhood, a child who attends Lakewood describes what she considers to be her garden to her friend. "I have an organic garden at my school," she says proudly. "We're growing food."

Yes we are, Jasmine, yes we are. And the food is also growing us.


  1. And is exactly how it works! Kudos to you all.

  2. Caring for and nurturing potential in the seed and in the child, removing the barriers to growth and learning from mistakes (and trying again) does indeed build and strengthen community. You are on a very well started journey.