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Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Tasting the fruits (and roots and leaves) of our labor

Its great beginning to really enjoy, and to see the kids be so enthusiastic about trying the harvest. Sometimes it probably seemed to a lot of us that these days would never come, though the joy of the garden came to be about seeing everything grow and in seeing how the children reacted to the garden. The obvious reason for ever growing a garden, that is, for the food reaped, though still the main goal, became more of an extra to the whole garden experience. Now, however, getting to harvest and taste these rewards of the garden brings the project into full circle, for us and the kids.
Today, amongst two classes in the morning, and a class each during the second and third shifts, most everyone who wanted to was able to try loose leaf lettuce, a tomato, nasturtiums, thyme and spinach, which is exploding and was fervently enjoyed by the kids. Third shift even brought in a sweet potato (not from our garden) for Mrs. Robinson's 1st grade class to taste as a preview before our own, which are coming along quite nicely.
In addition to experiencing with the senses these garden delights, the students completed an assignment which gave them knowledge to back up this sensual experience: they learned just what part of the plant they were eating, whether it be the spinach or lettuce leaf, the sweet potato root, the tomato fruit, or the nasturtium flower.
As usual, our fifth graders helped us with sufficient watering and weeding as well.

Getting used to the idea of harvesting, and not just admiring the plants, students today repeatedly asked, where are the sunflower seeds? when looking at the large flowers. Mrs. Robinson's second grade class was also very impressed by the sunflowers' stature, many of which exceeded that of the students.

Here are a couple short videos taken this afternoon:

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