Wednesday, March 9, 2011
Today was an amazing Wednesday! The first class of the day came out excited to learn and filled with energy. Our class put on their aprons to prepare for the Compost Kitchen lesson and sat around the picnic table awaiting the funky smelling surprise in store. As we discussed the compost and how it's made, the students decided to define it as "where everything goes to put back into the garden and make awesome soil." The key word of the lesson, "decomposition," was confusing at first but soon became an easy concept to understand. After we talked about what could and could not go in a compost (a cheeseburger, for example, wouldn't go in the compost, whereas an apple core would), we laid out some compost from our own kitchens across the picnic table to some yelps and "Ewws!" by our class. The class was grossed out and totally infatuated at the same time! After mustering up some courage to touch the decomposing food, we had our class toss the food into the brown tub and had two helpers carry the tub to the compost where we all watched the newly mashed up food get poured onto the compost pile. It was quite an epic site! Then, using the small pitch fork that I got at the Seed Swap in downtown St. Pete on Saturday March 5th, we all took turns turning the compost.
Our class loved turning the compost and even when the teacher was ready to head back, we had students asking for more time. This was a great first class. The second class went as well and thy were actually able to play a game after the lesson plan was completed. Using an abridged version of Red Light Green Light, we played Stop! Compost! This consisted of the students running toward us when we would say a word that could be composted such as banana peels, but then they would freeze if the word was something like a plastic bag
. This reinforced the importance of the different items that can and cannot go in the compost and we had a great time doing it. The class left just as the first had with big smiles and some more gardening knowledge about their Edible Peace Patch.
Our Kindergarten class had a great time as well... we had fun showing the students the different types of food we brought while teaching them about decomposition with real-life examples. The students especially loved learning about the bugs in the compost... they even found some caterpillars munching on some lettuce next to the compost! To end the day our last class of 5th graders in EBD, who are by far the most inquisitive and curious students I have ever had before, came out with many questions. These students are always asking about the next step. These students wanted to know more and more about the soil and why it was so great for the plants. The plants, as we explained, grew better with the soil that was created in the compost because it is full of nutrients; this, in turn, helps the overall success of the garden. Today was an amazing day for learning and exploration and adding in a bunch of sunshine made it even better!
Senior Comprehensive Intern