Edible Peace Patch Blogs

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Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Sunny Thursday Morning

Thursday was a pretty day with lots of wind, which is the perfect weather for gardening. Lorel and I opened the shed and got the materials for the first class. We reviewed the rules with the kids and the last lesson, I love how all of them are so excited to participate and are always with their little hands up, it makes me happy, since it shows how much they want to be involved with it. After that, we explained the precepitation process and walked with them though the garden, showing all of our growing veggies (something that also makes me really happy).

We had a break until the other class come, so we decided to weed. Weeding, weeding, weeding, isnt it kind of a relaxing process?

Finally, the second class joined us, the teacher of this one is really nice and she enjoys the garden as much as the kids, so she is always helping us and encoraging the kids to participate. As we walked the kids through the garden, she suggested that the kids could make a scarecrow for it, since they were learning about it in school. I love the idea and I think it is really good when we can relate things they are learning in school with what they are learning in the garden.

I mean, one of the best learning experiences for me is when I can relate the things I learn with my life, it is the best way for a subject to stick with someone.
Finally, we waited for our third class, that never showed up, so we continued weeding and then left, with the promise of a next week full of kids and involvement.

Monday, October 22, 2012

New Sprouts in the Garden 

      Mondays last shift was getting use to solely working.  Today was our day back spreading seeds in the heads of young kindergarteners.  This group was well engaged as their eyes scanned the garden to seek for answers of the unknown.  Most of the kids were just introduced to all of what the garden contained, and others were able to tell you what was growing where.  Excitement gleamed from them as they questioned everything that crossed their mind.  It was so wonderful to finally see the garden growing with life as the kids watered it with their imaginations. Often they would ask, "can I eat this?" when you would tell them what was growing where.  They couldn't believe that their own school was growing food that they themselves have consumed. 

       The water cycle was the lesson the kids got rooted into their heads today.  It seems that they still have a hard time grasping the natural world because they believe that water either comes from pipes or bathrooms.  We tried to explain to them the most general ideas that we thought they could grasp.  Our fingers made a circle as we talked about the cycle of water.  However, we narrowed our vocabulary to keep their attention.  We were able to reach the fact that water comes from the sky and gives life to the earth before going back through the cycle.  They were surprised when talked about plants breathing too or that water comes in many forms, because they didn't realize that water can be a gas, liquid, or solid.  

      Success was overall reached today as new faces were introduced to the edible peace patch.  The kids are looking forward to the plants growing, while I am looking forward to their knowledge of the environment expanding to a new level.

Friday, October 19, 2012

A Little Slice of Heaven

On Thursdays David, Corday and I don't have any kids to teach, but we still very much enjoy our time at the garden. I know for me, its that little slice of heaven in between classes and studying. This past summer I worked on an organic farm in Maine where we spent 40-50 hours a week taking care of the farm. Some days I found it absolutely exhausting.

But here at the peace patch I find it to be a creative outlet, that I sometimes don't get while I'm busy memorizing facts and statistics. On days when I do have kids, being able to share my knowledge of growing food with them is beyond words. I love how enthused they are to learn from my peers and I. I love the questions they ask (even ones like "can we grow dinosaurs?") While I'm teaching them about gardening, they are teaching me to be humble, to laugh, to play games. It's so inspiring to spend time with young students, knowing that they are taking in what I am teaching them, and are applying it to their lives, and hopefully the things we learn together will stay with them throughout the years, because I know it will stay with me.


PS. We have lots of vegetables that are almost ripe at Lakewood, so I took some pictures to share with you!


 Green Pepper

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Creepy, Crawly, CRITTERS!

This dead cockroach was being eaten by many red ants and thus provided a great example of how ants are predators in the garden.
Today was a beautiful day at the Edible Peace Patch. Liz, Julia, and I worked on watering and weeding in the garden before we were surprised by an extra class around 11:30! As a bonus we ended up getting to do a practice lesson with a wonderful group of Kindergarten students. We explained the lesson and then split up into three groups. After briefly reviewing the rules of the garden, Liz, Julia, and I took our groups into the garden and began looking under rocks with the children in our groups. It was wonderful to see the great interest these young girls and boys had in the garden and the creatures which live there! Then, once the bugs were returned and the rocks replaced, the kids went in and my team and I did a little more work in the garden before deciding to work on a well organized lesson plan for the next class. We also collected some grubs and other live bugs to use as examples during the next lesson. Julia and I remembered that this class had been quite hyper in the garden the week prior, so we knew this would be necessary if we hoped to keep their interest. Finally, the class came out and I am happy to say that we were successful in connecting with the kids and teaching them about this other part of gardening. After introducing ourselves again, Julia and Liz reminded them of the rules of the garden. Julia then proceeded to talk about the predators bugs, Liz explained the pollinators role, and then I addressed how decomposers/recycler bugs help the garden as well. I then took out some of the living examples we had collected to show them what to look for and allow them to hold them before we ventured into the garden to find new bugs for themselves. It was wonderful how interested the kids were and it significantly improved their cooperation.
The kids enthusiastically responding to the questions Liz asked about Pollinator bugs!

One of the girls in my group teaming up with her friend to carefully look under some big rocks!

Friday, October 12, 2012

Friday Afternoon

This afternoon Camilo, Mary Kate and myself worked the last shift in the Lakewood garden. Once again we did not have any students. We all hope that next week we will have students to teach because they make all the tough work and long hours planning the lessons worth it. As we did last week we watered all of the beds and focused on water the pineapples much more than the others. After watering we removed some sedge weed from a few of the beds because it had gotten a little out of control. At the end of the shift, I continued watering the pineapples while Mary Kate and Camilo planted beets. Though we did not teach the Lakewood students today, we taught each other a little bit about politics while we engaged in vigorous conversation about the upcoming election. Our conversation revolved around the reasoning as to why we volunteer in the garden- because we all care about the future. We discussed that voting for the future is the most important thing for us and the best way to ensure a plentiful future for ourselves is to educate the students who will soon one day become the future. We concluded that the best way to ensure a great future for all is to educate everyone everywhere. With an education anyone can do anything.

Peace and carrots,


Camilo watering the sunflowers

Mary Kate planting beets

Growing beets! 

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

A Child's Enthusiasm

On Tuesday morning, Emily and I arrived to the Edible Peace Patch to find an extensive list of jobs to complete. We immediately decided to split up the work so we could accomplish more. While she mowed (a job that I don't know exactly how to do), I watered everything in the garden, whether it was fully-grown or just sprouting. Thankfully, the heat of the day had not reached its peak by noon, halfway through our time, although we still glistened slightly with sweat from the manual labor. When I finished watering, I decided to tackle the next most important task on our list: turning the compost. I was on a role with the shoveling until I reached a nest of cockroaches that had decided they could use the compost as much as we could. At that point, due to my slight fear of cockroaches, I thought it best to take a break from shoveling and work on the lesson for the students.

The second grade kids came out towards the end of our time, and we could immediately see how much energy they had. They had no interest in sitting to fill out a page on the parts of the plant, instead, they jumped right up to see first-hand. While the amount of their energy was startling at first, it soon brightened our day, making us just as excited about the garden. While I was asking them questions about which plant was which and what part of each plant became our food, the kids were very eager to be the first to answer correctly. Their excitement to learn is inspiring to someone like me who has been in school for so long. They renewed my enthusiasm to learn everything I can and to teach them all that I know.

Thanks to Emily, the Edible Peace Patch is nicely mowed and looking great.

The healthy growing bell peppers that the kids identified almost immediately.

Some of the beautiful flowers growing in the pollinator garden.

The second graders took turns guessing how high the corn will grow when it starts to come up.

Friday, October 5, 2012

This afternoon Mary Kate , Camilo and myself worked the last shift of the week in the Lakewood garden. We were all very impressed by how much all the plants have grown over the past month, especially the summer squash. Some of the sunflower seeds were starting to grow too from last weeks lesson about seeds. From scheduling changes this past week we did not get to work with our regular students. It was a little upsetting because even though we had only been working with the students for two weeks, they make the work all worth the while and keep our spirits spirits up during the dry October afternoon heat.

Today we watered the beds, planted a few green pepper's and reconstructed (mulch and put rocks around it) a few trees. Though this was more of a laboring day, we still had a great time and look forward to working with the students next week!

Peas and Carrots,


                                                  Mary Kate watering the summer squash

                                                                Green peppers planted


                                                          Camilo reconstructing a tree

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Thursday Morning

It was a beautiful sunny thursday morning, despite all the rain that fell yesterday. We got in the garden and I was so impressed by the fast growing of the plants. It is so great. we knew no kids were going to came today, so we started gardening! I love it, touching my feet in the dirt, working towards a goal and helping this kids have a better life, it is amazing.

Today me and Lorel weeded the polinator garden and mulched it, so now it looks better, or at least, I guess it does.  Right? Oh, well, we are trying our best to contribute to the garden! :)

I am very excited to see all the plants growing, it is fascinating and I cant wait until we can harvest some beautiful vegetables. They will be beautiful, with all the people that take care of the garden. I confessed I am impressed with the commitment everyone has with the project, but at the same time, it is hard not to fall in love with it.