Edible Peace Patch Blogs

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Monday, October 31, 2011

Happy Halloween, compost stew anyone?

Despite a threatening cloud cover, we were fortunate enough to make it through our shift in the Edible Peace Patch with no rain.  Yay! 
It was great to be out in the garden with the kids again today after missing a week because of fall break.  The kids must have felt the same because the extra energy was palpable.  Plus it is Halloween, one of the most exciting days in children's lives!
Despite the anticipation of candies later on this evening, both Ms. Morris and Ms. Early’s classes were eager to throw on their aprons and become “compost chefs”.  
“We are going to be making food for the plants today because they are making food for us and they need to eat too,” we explain.  Soon the initial aversion to the food scraps on the table was gone and the kids were fighting each other to grab a mushy grape or a stale piece of bread to throw into our “stew”.  
Initial hesitation over the creepy-crawlies in the compost also melted away as the children found a few bugs they recognized like rolly-pollies and millipedes.  We taught them of the importance of these insects and how they help us in the process of decomposition so that our lovely stew can be turned into delicious, nutritious soil for the plants.  
We finished up the day planting a beautiful foot-tall bean plant from a previous lesson a few weeks ago into our three sisters garden, explaining the benefits of growing certain crops together in a polyculture, as has been practiced on this continent for millennia.   

Thanks for following!

"You are what you eat eats too."
Michael Pollan

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Look how far we've come

It was a wet and rainy morning in the garden. Our early morning meeting had been canceled but since everyone was there we decided to go over next weeks lesson plan.

While waiting for our kids to arrive we planted more pineapples in the pineapple forest and weeded the relentless sedge that seems to pop up everywhere. At 9:30 our class showed up bursting with excitement.
 As they came closer they were already waving to us, I could tell they were excited to be in the garden even on this rainy day. When we asked them how their bean plants where doing they all raised their hands eager to talk about their plants. After recapping last weeks lesson we started our lesson on recycling. First we taught them the three Rs: reduce, reuse, recycle. After that we had the students put different recyclable materials in the appropriate bins. In a circle we talked about ways that they could reuse materials and recycle. They all came up with some pretty good ideas.

After our lesson on recycling we took them for a walk through the garden. One of the students saw a lady bug on an okra plant and the rest of the kids gathered around intrigued and excited by their lucky find. I could tell by their smiles and questions that they loved the garden and it has been definitely a great learning tool for them. Of course one of the most exciting things for the kids is when we let them eat something from the garden. We let all the kids try some arugula a salad green with a peppery flavor. The kids did not like it very much but their faces when the tasted it was priceless. This did not deter them from tasting anything else and they eagerly tried anything we gave them.

Its amazing how far the kids and the garden have come in just the last few weeks.  If one of the kindergarteners was asked what plants needed to grow they would be able to rattle it off in seconds. Just a couple of weeks ago they would have had no idea.

- Alina

Thursday, October 27, 2011

A Day to Recycle

This morning at the garden was a little chilly until the sun came out and then it started to warm up. Before the children came out at 9:30, Emma, Elena, Julia, and I took the time to do some maintenance of the garden. We decided to do some of the daily weeding, and also Emma got the hose out to water all of the beds.

Every week I come back to the garden it amazes me how fast all of the plants are growing. There is definitely some magic in this garden. Every early morning that I have to pull myself out of bed, once I get to the garden I immediately forget about being tired and there is a sense of peace and happiness that I get from being there. Especially when the kids come out, it makes me so happy to see their faces and how much they want to learn and how much they grow from week to week. 

Once it was around 9:30 we started to get the materials together for the class. We put out the chalkboard with the recycling symbol as well as the 3 R's, Reduce, Reuse, Recycle written around the symbol. Julia had a good idea from the previous day of being at the garden; since the children are small and it is hard for them to reach up to the bench at the garden, she said it would be easier to put the recyclables on the ground and we could teach them to pick up trash and recycle it. It was a bit hectic with our group because they were very excited this morning, but once we got their attention we taught them the 3R's as well as asking them if they recycled at home and what things they thought could be recycled. It was so good to hear that a lot of the children knew about recycling and they all said they were going to tell their parents about recycling when they got home. 

One of the boys in our group amazes me every week he comes to the garden because he has made such a change from the first week; he was so quiet and not really happy about being in the garden, but today he had all the answers and wanted to do everything! He even knew that if we didn't recycle things that animals such as seagulls would eat them and get sick. It made me so happy to see such a dramatic change from week to week. If the garden had something to do with that, it surely is a magical place!


It often happens to children - and sometimes to gardeners - that they are 
given gifts of value of which they do not perceive until much later.

-  Wayne Winterrowd

Friday Peace Patch

As I leaned over the carrots and comparing them to last week’s size, I am suddenly blinded by two small hands covering my face as I am holding a running hose. Apparently I am a jungle gym to be climbed all over and treated as an observation deck for the class of students. The group of children that visited the garden today was only able to stay for a few minutes as they passed through to their next class. However, in these few minutes I was amazed by the amount of knowledge and interest that these students showed in the garden. I showed the students the importance on of delicacy needed when watering seedlings. After a quick watering Chelsea and I gave the grand tour of the garden followed by a tasting of several herbs and vegetables.
It’s the enthusiasm of the kids when they enter the garden that keeps the edible peace patch running. A perfect combination of laughter, curiosity, and innocence that keep the kids coming back every morning filled with energy. After about two months of maintaining the garden this year, almost every bed has at least sprouts popping out, the pineapple forest is expanding greatly, and the kids are learning more and more each day. I will look forward to returning to the patch this Friday, hopefully with enough energy to keep up with the kids.

-Brad Samuels

Wednesday, October 26, 2011


Today was a wonderful day to garden! My class comes out the last twenty minutes of my shift so the bulk of my time spent in the garden today was characterized by maintenance work.  Our carrots are coming up nicely but to help them along I weeded out all its competitors that found their way into their bed.  I also weeded out the cantaloupe’s side of another bed and started weeding by the pineapples.  On Friday a local man drove by the garden, saw what we were doing and offered to donate some plants from his own garden.  I watered them, the carrots and our starter cantaloupes. 

The lesson for this week is all about the 3 R’s: REDUCE, RESUE, RECYCLE!  The best part about this lesson is hearing what the kids have to say about different ways we can reuse household items such as plastic water bottles.  They are so creative!  They suggested using them as a vase for flowers and other plants, candle holders and containers to put things in.  To conclude the lesson we walked through the garden with the objective of seeking out various materials we reuse/recycle to make the garden look the way it does.  Examples of the things we noticed: we have a plastic cup which we used for a starter cup for plants, stumps from trees were made into a sitting ground for the kids, a broken up wooden trellis is what we use to mark what plants are in which beds, etc.  It was a lot of fun walking through the garden with the kids and having them point out these various usages of materials that could otherwise be discarded. 

-          Chelsea Ehmann

Thursday, October 20, 2011

“I’m going to grow up and work in the garden”

Another great day in the garden! It seems as if fall has finally caught up with Florida. Bright and early we arrived at Lakewood finding it to be a bit chillier than anticipated. Having not been out to the garden in over a week I was amazed at how much it had grown. The plants seemed to double in size. The first part of the morning was spent weeding the beds and preparing for our class of kindergarteners.

When the kids finally came out we were pretty excited. They seemed a little cautious at first (and cold), but as we started talking about plant parts they jumped right in and before long all of the kindergarteners were jumping up and down with their hands raised to answer the question “what do leaves do?” Even the kids who had been more timid in previous weeks warmed up and were very excited to see what was growing.

After passing out clipboards with paper to draw the plants in the garden, we helped the kids write their names on the papers and find the plant parts we had talked about. While they seemed to have fun drawing, I’m sure the favorite part of their day was watching the bee we found on one of the radishes. We took this opportunity to remind the kids about pollinators and talked about how you actually don’t want to kill the bee.

The time seemed to fly by. Before we knew it the 20 minutes had passed and the kids were getting back in line to go inside. When I told one of the girls I would see her next week, she looked at me for a second and then replied, “I’m going to grow up and work in the garden.” What a wonderful way to start the morning.


Tuesday, October 18, 2011

We can complain because rose bushes have thorns, or rejoice because thorn bushes have roses- Abraham Lincoln

            Today in the garden we had threatening rain clouds overhead all morning, but were spared of any plan ruining drizzle. Our Tuesday morning group spent the first half of the morning weeding the stubborn grass and trying to tackle the weeds that persistently come up in the butterfly garden. We also continued to work on mulching the area between the beds and the fence and admired the newly set up outdoor classroom. 

            Throughout my morning stroll through the beds I recognized some interesting new growth.  The okra not only has grown dramatically in size but it has some beautiful new yellow and purple flowers, and some promising new fruits.  I also observed some equally beautiful purple flowers on the sweet potatoes and some bulbous roots of the almost pickable radishes.  My fellow gardeners and I were happy to see that the stumps that had been resting along the fence in previous weeks are now arranged in a little mulched circle that is perfect for Lakewood kids as well as Eckerd students to sit on. We decided this spot was an excellent location to execute our day’s lesson about the plant parts. Where better to learn about plants than surrounded by them on all sides.
        After briefly going over the lesson plan and setting up for the kid’s arrival, Mr. B’s class came bounding toward the garden with loads of excitement. We arranged them into a line and led them to the outdoor classroom. We went over the main parts of the plant: roots, stem, leaves, flower, and fruits, and then asked them to identify and assemble our tomato plant on our chalkboard.  The kids impressed me with their knowledge and were extremely willing and ready to soak up all the knowledge we had to teach them.

            We then gave each student a clipboard and some paper and colors and had them draw their own plants with all the parts that they had just learned.  This aloud us to truly see what all they had absorbed, and fill in any gaps, which they still had. After viewing many gorgeous representations of the plants we had just learned about, we let the kids take a tour of the ever-changing garden.  They viewed the new flowers and taller corn, as well as tasted some basal. We finished with a barrage of hugs as they left as excited to come back as they had arrived.

-Becca Waitz

Monday, October 17, 2011

The Kinder-Gardeners

“I go to nature to be soothed and healed, and to have my senses put in tune once more.” –John Burroughs

After another weekend, the garden continues to surprise us with beauty. When examining the first bed with the tomatoes in it I notice that quite a few tomatoes have been planted since I had last been there. The biggest one in the bed continues to grow. We were excited to find that it has a few yellow flowers that have recently bloomed.

I did some weeding and thinning out in the carrot bed, between the sweet potatoes and tomatoes. I noticed that the sweet potatoes also have flowers that are a white and purple growing within its leaves. These flowers are not easy to see because they are hidden by the big leaves.

Other excitement in the garden was in the pole bean bed. The bean’s long spiral tendrils finally decided to climb up the pole. It won’t be long till the other beans do the same.

Mrs. Barlow’s kindergarten class came out around nine-thirty. We asked them how their bean plants were doing that they planted last week and if they noticed any changes. They said they had seen some green in the cups. We then introduced our topic of the Lesson, “Plants have Parts”. Using a chalkboard with a stem drawn on it and paper cutouts of pictures and labels of the other parts, we had them attach various parts of the plant (roots, leaves, flower, and fruit) to the diagram. We reviewed all the parts again and went over their various functions. Roots are like a sponge; they absorb water and nutrients and hold food. The stem is like a straw sucking up water while the leaf lays out to collect sun and food. The flower and fruit holds the seeds for new plants to grow. We told them to draw a picture of all the plant parts, using the plants in our garden. The okra turned out to be the best example because it had a flower and fruit.

The radishes are nearly ready for harvesting so we decided to pull one up to show the kids some roots. They were amazed by how much of the plant was hidden in the soil.

The kids lined up and got ready to go back to the classroom. It seems like they would much rather prefer to stay in the garden and I can understand why. Everything is growing and it is exciting to be part of the process!

Julia Melton

Friday, October 14, 2011

Weeding and Planting

Always do your best. What you plant now, you will harvest later. 
- Og Mandino

During our early morning meeting we all took a stroll through the garden to determine what we thought still had to be done. After our walk through the garden we met up and talked about what work was left to do. The students who come up with the lesson plan each week presented the activity to us. Next week we are going to be teaching the kindergarterns and first graders about plant parts. With little cut out plants we will have them “build” a plant on the chalkboard and then review the names. Today we had two groups role play next weeks lessons.

"Children are born naturalists. They explore the world with all of their senses, experiment in the environment, and communicate their discoveries to those around them."

Everyone on my shift was disappointed to find out that we would not be having any classes come out today. We still had plenty of work to do though. Katie and Erin carefully transplanted some of the starter plants including kale and lettuce. Carly got to work labeling the sunflowers while I put poles in the pole bean bed. We had a couple of extra workers in the garden today and we all spent a lot of time weeding the wildflower bed, which is very overgrown. Someone also tackled the mess in the shed and organized it.


Thursday, October 13, 2011

A Rainy Thursday

Let the rain kiss you.  Let the rain beat upon your head with silver liquid drops.  Let the rain sing you a lullaby.  
~Langston Hughes

This morning was a rainy day at the garden. First, Julia and I started weeding some of the beds, and then a big black ominous cloud came across the sky. Julia and I decided to take shelter in the shed while the pouring down rain passed. I thankfully took a picture of the garden before it started pouring. The garden is really coming along, even from week to week when I come back, it has grown. I am so excited to see how the garden will look at the end of the semester. Despite all of the rain it was a good morning. While Julia and I took shelter in the shed, we got together the materials for the kids to come out.

While getting the materials together, it was a little difficult to decide how many kids that Julia and I would have, since we were the only two there today. We decided that each of us would have two cups and in each cup we put two seeds, as the lesson plan said. Before the kids came out we tried to find a space where the rain wouldn't be as bad and we decided to put the blanket out under the tree.

It is amazing how fast these plants are growing, all of the rain over the weekend must have helped tremendously. I was so happy that the cucumbers and squash that Julia and I planted last Thursday have sprouted and look really good. Julia also mentioned that in her other group they trimmed them a little bit and she said the leaves smelled just like cucumbers.

The kids came out right at 9:30 and luckily not all of the kids came today. It was only ten kids, so Julia and I were able to split them up equally. First, Julia read them the story and they really liked it; there were three kids who raised their hand after every color and gave very good answers. One of the little girls that was in my small group last week remembered me and it was very cute. When we split off to do the seed activity she ran to me and held my hand. It was a bit hectic with five kids and two cups because every kid wanted to do every job.

 Since it was raining still we stood under the tree and did the activity. We weren't able to get the last part of the activity done with the clipboards because it started raining harder by the end of the shift. It has only been a couple weeks, but being at the garden and making a difference in these children's lives is turning out to be pretty amazing!

Must we always teach our children with books?  Let them look at the stars and the mountains above.  Let them look at the waters and the trees and flowers on Earth.  Then they will begin to think, and to think is the beginning of a real education.

 -  David Polis

Jessica Stitt

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

The Magic of the Garden

“No two gardens are the same. No two days are the same in one garden.” ~Hugh Johnson

It seems like every time I return to the Edible Peace Patch something new appears as if it were magic. It is amazing to actually see all the hard work that we put into the garden. I was very excited to see the radishes we planted such a short time ago have started to show their magenta colored bulb from underneath the soil. It brings a sense of pride to have planted them.

The beets that were planted on the other half of the bed have begun to sprout up. They were looking a little crowded so we decided to thin them out to give the beets room for their roots. The beets that we pulled out had the most magnificent magenta color to their stems; it was similar to the radish bulb color but way more vibrant.

The cucumber’s that we recently planted in mounds were also getting bigger and were looking a little crowded. We pulled some of the cumbers out very carefully so that we could try to transplant a few in another bed. I was surprised to find that the tiny little cucumber sprouts already smell like cucumber. Also, most of the seeds were still hanging on to the roots, which gave us hope that they could perhaps survive being relocated to a new bed.

Another magical presence to the garden was found in the okra bed. One of the okra had a beautiful flower that blossomed. I had no idea that okra had flowers.

When it was time for the kindergarteners to arrive, we were very prepared after doing the lesson on Monday. After the kids had planted their bean seeds in the cup they wanted to check out the Edible Peace Patch. They wanted to water the plants in the beds with the leftover water from the beans they planted in their cups. We told them to bring the bean seeds that they planted two weeks from now so we can see if they have grown. I am really enjoying working with the kids. They are enthusiastic to be learning outside and they are starting to recognize the garden as their own.

Julia Melton

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

"Earth laughs in flower."- Ralph Waldo Emerson

Today was quite a productive day.  Our Tuesday morning group started out planting some eggplant and corn, which should be sprouted by this time next week. We then watered all the beds inspecting them closely for new growth since last week. The okra and sweet potatoes are definitely still dominating the garden thus far but the radishes, tomatoes and pole beans seem to be catching up.

             After pulling a little stubborn grass growing up through the mulch we were visited by Mr. B’s eager class of first graders. We all put on our SCIENCE APRONS and listened to an enthusiastic reading of Planting a Rainbow!  It took a little while to get the kids into the book but once we got to the rainbow of flowers part, the class was quite enthused. The reading led perfectly into our next activity.

            In the next part of the lesson we split the first grade class into four groups. In these small groups we each had our own part in planting a pole bean. One student poked a whole in a cup of soil to the right depth; the next student planted the bean into the hole and covered it up and the last student had the opportunity to water the plant. All of the students seemed to really enjoy all the steps of this process. The kids may have gotten a little over zealous with the watering step, but we’re going to cross our fingers that they will germinate anyway.  The culmination of our lesson consisted of having the kids predict what will happen to their bean as it grows. Our kids illustrated and colored in beautiful pictures of flowers, beans, the sun and water.  Over all I believe both the kids and my fellow Eckerd students had loads of fun working and learning in the garden today.
-Becca Waitz

Monday, October 10, 2011

“Planting a Rainbow”

“A new word is like a fresh seed sown on the ground of the discussion.”

-Ludwig Wittgenstein

It is amazing what a rainy weekend can do. Not only did it make our Monday morning watering less work, it also seemed to encourage growth in our beds. The tomato plant has a new ladder that is used for stability. The tomato plant appears to be beginning to climb up the ladder.

Other improvements are visible with the Okra as well as the recently planted radishes that were planted about two weeks ago. The radishes seemed to have blossomed in such a short time span. Before we know it, they will be ready for harvesting. I am looking forward to harvesting the radishes with the children because they have been part of the process in watching the radishes grow into what they are today. I think the kids will also be surprised that the radishes grow under the soil and that they are more than just the tops that they can see at the surface.

I was also excited to see that the cucumbers and squash that we planted in hills last Thursday were sprouting up. The red ants seem to have recovered their home in this bed. We are hoping they will relocate to a new area.

The lesson plan that we had with the kids today was called, “Planting a Rainbow”. We were supposed to read a children’s picture book that uses colorful illustrations to describe what seeds need to grow. Unfortunately, the class came out to the garden late so we only had time to do our second part of the lesson.

We told the children to break up into the small groups they were in last week. I had a group of three girls that were well behaved and attentive. I asked them what were some things that seeds need to grow and they responded with the correct answers “soil, water, and sun”. Then our next task was to have them plant bean seeds. I gave them each a job. One kid was assigned to give our lima bean seeds soil, another kid was assigned to plant the seed in the soil and the third kid was in charge of watering the seed that was in the soil. Once they each participated in planting the seeds, I asked the girls what they predicted the seeds would look like in two weeks. In the small amount of time we had left, I had the girls draw their predictions on a piece of paper.

Although we only had a little time to work with the kids today, it was nice to have them experience planting a seed. I predict that the kids are going to grow from learning at the Edible Peace Patch.

Julia Melton

Friday, October 7, 2011

Feels like fall

As everyone gathered around for our weekly group meeting the peace pathchers shivered in the cool morning air. It finally feels like fall! As we talked about our weekly experiences everyone was eager to share their stories about the first week with their students. It was apparent to me  that everyone was excited to finally be able to share the garden we have been working so hard on, with the kids.

          After the meeting my early morning shift of Erin, Katie and Carly and I got right to work before our group of students arrived. We weeded the beds, watered and planted some more pineapples. The recently planted pineapples are looking a little sad but we are hoping that they will perk up soon. The time flew by and before we knew it we had a line of kindergarteners waiting for us.

After introducing ourselves to the group as a whole we then split up into smaller groups. We asked them questions about the garden to see how much they know. I was surprised about how much my three 5 year old girls knew about the garden. They were all excited to answer the questions and when we toured through the garden they kept rushing from bed to bed guessing what each plant could be. It is so much fun to teach when the kids are so eager learn! 

I can’t wait to see my kindergarden and first grade group on Monday!  


Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Planting a Seed

“When, just as the soil tarnishes with weed,

The sturdy seedling with arched body comes
Shouldering its way and shedding the earth crumbs.”

-Robert Frost

Today was another peaceful morning at the garden. We began by examining some of the beds. The larger of the two tomatoes in the first bed is getting even bigger. Today was the first time I have notice the tomato touching the line that weaves above it that is used for added stability.

The Radishes we planted about a week and a half ago are growing very fast. One of my group members, Noah, decided it was a good idea to thin the radishes out by taking some of them out. Then they transplanted the ones they took out in the other half of the bed. We are curious to see if the ones we transplanted will survive.

We remembered the group of kids that came out last week on Wednesday mentioned how much they loved carrots and wanted to plant them. We decided to designate the bed between the tomatoes and sweet potatoes as the carrot bed. We prepared the bed so that the kids could plant the seeds at the end of their lesson. We dug six rows and made small holes for the seeds about three inches apart.

When the kindergarten class came out with smiling faces, we did our introduction and got into smaller groups to do the assessment. The first thing the kids in my group asked was, “Are there any carrots?” We decided that was a good time to let all the kids plant the seeds in the carrot bed. Each hole got about two to three seeds. This was a little difficult because the carrot seeds are very small. After the seeds were planted, we told them to cover the holes with the soil. Then I guided the kids in my group around the garden and told them what was in each bed. For the empty beds, I asked them what they would like to see growing there in the future.

Before we knew it was time for the class to go to lunch. They gave us all hugs and smiles and I told them that we would see them next week. There is so much gratification in working with children in the environment. Getting to share the Edible peace patch with younger children is a neat opportunity.

Julia Melton

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

I know that you'll feel better, when you send us in your letter, an' tell us your favorite vege table"-The Beach Boys

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

  Well, we all started off a bit sluggish this early morning, but once we started to get our hands dirty our morale quickly picked up. Tristram welcomed the garden by giving the compost a few turns with the ol' pitchfork while Sam and Becca were quick to start liberating our mulch of wee, little grass-heads poking through. Due to the recent lack of rain I decided to give our garden a refreshing and much needed shower. The sweet potato bed has nearly disappeared under the lush layer of its large leaves. Our lone tomato seems to finally have some strong followers, and it wont be long before a few more seedlings join them. The soldier-like army of radishes is truly an impressive site, and is quickly becoming one of the most successful crops! A couple heads of corn are showing a promising start for our future, Native American-style, three sisters bed and the pole beans a few beds down are starting to wrap their vines around the trelis. Our pineapple forest is growing by the day. Although not all have fully established themselves in the soil, the ones that have give us great hope for future fruit salads galore! The once empty watermelon patch is now adorned with three bountiful mounds of seedlings. Around 9:30, Mr, B and his smiling kindergarten class greeted us in the garden. Once the kids circled round we introduced ourselves and informed them of our favorite color and vegetable. When asked what the garden rules were, all hands flew up. Almost everyone of them new a rule or thought of a new one that should be added. We split off into groups of four and had the kids play an identification game with some of the common garden knowledge. I was truly impressed with how knowledgeable these little youngsters were, some of them even knowing what a decomposer is! After the game we led the class through a garden tour and answered the many questions they had. From bugs, to flowers, to fruits, the kids wanted to know everything and couldn't wait to start planting. One of the little girls even told me she couldn't wait to take a watermelon to her grandmother's house. Mr. B wrangled up his curious bunch and headed back for the classroom a little after 10:00. As they walked away a small ocean of waving arms left with them, and a few lucky ones took some treats to show their families. All in all it was truly an amazing morning, and I know I can speak for all of us in saying that it will be the best part of the week. Till next time, Nico.

Monday, October 3, 2011

A New Page

A mind that is stretched by a new experience can never go back to its old dimensions.

- Oliver Wendell Holmes

Today was not our typical morning at the garden; it was our first day with kids. We had the first hour and a half to do some weeding and final preparations for the kids. The radishes that we planted a week ago are looking very promising.

My group member, Lilian had brought the radish seeds from before and she suggest we build rows on the other side and plant beets with the kids if we had extra time after we gave out tour of the garden. So we prepared the rows on the other side of the radish plot ands poked a quarter inch holes about an inch width apart.

Before we knew it, it was nine-thirty; time for our kids to arrive. These kids came from recess and were a little rambunctious. Once we got everyone’s attention we had the kids make a giant circle. We introduced ourselves as Eckerd College students and went over our three basic rules: don’t step on the beds, don’t run, and don’t touch any plants without our permission. Then we got into smaller groups to do our assessment. I had three kids, two girls and one boy. They were very enthusiastic about the garden and did not like the idea of doing paperwork. They each spelled their name for me to write on the assessment and then I told them they got to pick the pictures that they thought were the answers to each questions. Although they circled every answer on the entire page, I think that it made them consider how much there is to a garden and how much they will learn.

Then the fun began. I gave them a tour of the garden. They were excited to guess what plant was in each bed, and could not wait to get to the next part of the garden. Then since we had some spare time at the end, we gave each kid a beet seed to put in the holes that Lilian and I made earlier. Some kids lost their seeds, so I gave advice to cup their hand when holding the seeds.

All in all I feel that we had a good first day in the garden with the kids. I think that they enjoyed contributing to the garden (by planting a seed) and they look forward to next week. My group members and I are excited to teach the kids and learn from them as well.

Julia Melton