Welcome! This blog follows the building, cultivating, and harvesting of the Lakewood Elementary schoolyard garden in St. Petersburg, Florida. Since January 2009, the Edible Peace Patch Project has been developing innovative community-oriented food system and nutrition educational programs in south St. Petersburg, Florida. Lakewood Elementary is the 1st school to participate in our Garden Education Program!
Being as this is my first time on the blog since the students have come back out this semester, I would like to say it feels great to be teaching again! Throughout the week, I have two 2nd grade classes and one 3rd grade class; all new faces, yet still brimming with enthusiasm about the garden. This week we are incorporating last weeks lesson of the need of sun, water, and soil for growth into actually putting it all into action. My garden "scientists" are performing the "experiment" of what will happen when you combine all of these factors to grow corn and bean seeds. They were able to take them into the classroom when lessons were done so that they can observe the growth process through the clear cups. In a few weeks time, they will bring their seedlings back out of their classrooms to put out into the 3 Sisters Garden in the Patch. Many of my students are veterans out in the garden, so showing them anything that may be new after the long winter break from the garden has been exciting! They were all very excited about the native plants row, all the sunflowers that are starting to pop up, the climbing trellises over many of the beds, the expanded pineapple rows, and much more. As usual, we had to take a taste test, so while they drew plants and we discussed the different parts (i.e. leaves, stems, buds, roots, etc.), we were able to munch away on sweet peas and the last of the broccoli. Besides the teaching, there is a lot of other things going on in the garden as well. The painting of the beds is now complete, the sedge war continues on with more mulch to cover it and hands to pull it, and weeds are now match against our volunteers. Between the IS ladies, our grad student, and our professor, the planning never stops and our volunteers really give us the ability to make it all come together and work. I am so excited to see how things progress this semester. I've been on the project since August, so this is my first time in the garden is the spring and it's all growing so fast!