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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

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