Thursday, February 18, 2010
There's a startling beauty to a garden filled with children and young adults. For two weeks now we have been beginning our work. Eckerd students in pairs and triplets and quartets have been planting seeds, turning compost, pulling weeds, and watching the first hints of our future crop begin to show itself through the surface of the soil with a whole cross section of Lakewood Elementary students. Food seeds sprouting everywhere. Beans led the way three weeks ago (although the cold has kept them from growing very much), they were followed by a glut of tomatoes, some intentional some volunteer all over the garden. This week we can see carrots beginning to push skyward, and broccoli with their clover shaped calyx beginning to do the same. I'm not superstitious, but I believe that a whole row of okra seed popped and started their sprout in the hour that we visited with kids today.
Click on the photo. You can see the broccoli sprouting there. Today our science coordinator lent us a beautifully illustrated and lyrically written book about seeds, which we read to the kids. We planted more sunflower seeds in the trenches and we also put stakes around the watermelon mounds. Because of the cold, almost none of the seeds planted last week by today's classes have sprouted. I have a feeling that next week the story will be different. Pinellas County elementary science standards are focused on life cycles this semester, and so we find every opportunity (of which they are legion) to observe life cycle and life cycle processes in our garden. The kids are such keen observers.
This Edible Peace Patch is off to yet another meaningful semester. I flip through the log book covering a full year out here and remember and admire the hard work my own students have invested in this place, cultivating value and learning the practice of good ecological citizenship. I look forward to this crop with more pride than any that came before. We have struck a rhythm. This is working. I am grateful.