Tuesday, February 23, 2010
Despite the gray, cloudy skies, it was a very successful day at the Edible Peace Patch! Sprouts are coming up faster than I can count, completely impervious to the recent spell of cold weather that has been plaguing sunny St. Pete. We’ve got some really nice tomatoes started, they all seem to be doing very well and will be ready to be transplanted into the bed soon. It seems that our herbs in the mini-greenhouses could be ready to go at any moment. Our kale, Swiss chard, and all our different types of lettuce are doing better than ever.
We had a lovely bunch of kids come out to the garden on Monday, starting with some really fun kindergarteners…or should I say, kindergardeners. They helped us out a bunch by helping us clear the trench of all the mulch that’s fallen into it over the past few months so that we could plant some wildflowers in amongst the towering sunflowers. We had them kneel down and help us remove the big wood chips with their hands. It was amazing to see what those tiny hands could do in twenty minutes, seeing as we had just about the entire trench cleared of mulch by the end of their visit. We had some time so we had them go ahead and plant the flower seeds in the area they had cleared. All the kids we have had have been so perceptive of what we are doing – even these young ones – that explaining why we are doing these activities has been easy. They seem to love to learn, and it becomes even more apparent as we continue to work with them at the Peace Patch.
We had just a few second graders come out to the Patch during the second half of our shift, which made our job much easier and of course much more personal. We visited the bed that was designated to their class and counted bean sprouts (ten so far!) and compared them to the larger beans we’ve started in pots. It was great to be able to engage the students and ask them questions about their observations. The kids were really great at being scientists and using their observations to predict what will happen to the beans as they grow. We also talked a little bit about the other plants in the garden and what stage in their life cycles they are in now. We had a piece of aloe break off accidentally earlier that day, so we talked to the kids about succulent plants and the medicinal value of aloe. They also got to touch the gooey aloe insides, which I think they all enjoyed very much.
The coming weeks should be filled with excitement as we continue to plant and teach and welcome in the spring.