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Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Pineapple Planting!

Today was another exciting day in the garden with some super energetic children. The rain held off in the afternoon, and the sun managed to shine in the latter half of the day, creating perfect conditions for some more fun in the dirt. It's amazing the explosion of activity that washes over the garden as soon as the kids step foot in our peaceful growing space. The kindergartners that came out first this afternoon were immediately equipped with clipboards and crayons and we jumped right into another drawing exercise. The kids, once again were artistically creative in their renditions of the young squash sprouts, the sunflowers and the lettuce, while we talked about how plants grow big and strong with the help from everyone that participates in the garden. A few observant children discovered lady-bugs, snails, and lizards. We talked about what these different bugs and animals do for the garden, which ones were good for the garden and which ones we didn't want around. As the kindergartners left with their personal renditions of growth in the garden in tow, the first graders came out with even more energy. We tried with all our might to corral their massive excitement to be outside into a positive energy with a composting activity, and a fun new exercise in planting pineapple. We discussed where our pineapple cuttings came from and what parts of the pineapple top will develop into roots and which parts will be the "leaves". Then a group donned trowels and took turns digging a small hole, removing grass roots, and finally planting the pineapple top and filling in dirt around it. Our time ran out and the kids got a little rowdy, prompting a review of respect and privilege in the garden and necessary behavior for everyone to enjoy their time. The day ended with our rambunctious group of first graders sensing the end of the school day and letting a little too much energy out in the garden but all in all it was another successful afternoon of questions, learning, and hands-on gardening experience.

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