Edible Peace Patch Blogs

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Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Necessity of Nourishment

Sally, Alix, and I arrived at Lakewood Elementary this morning, and the administration office looked a bit surprised to see us, given that it's dismally grey outside and under the warning of a tornado watch. "We still wanted to come," I said. If any kids had happened to come out and we hadn't of shown up, they would have lost interest in the garden in the long term. We walked through the hallways, giving high-fives to familiar faces and responding to their excitement, and head out to the garden.

 This part always intrigues me because, being a garden, you never know what to expect walking in each day. New seeds are planted, some flowers may have withered, or fruits may be ready to pick. Today proved no different, showing me how much everything has grown so far in the few weeks we've been working here. The picture to the right shows how the Lakewood Edible Peace Patch is coming along on the morning of February 26th, 2013. 

We began to prepare for the classes, while in the back of our heads we keep wondering how this weather is going to effect the day. We start to hear pitter patters on the tin roof of the shed and are about to pack up and call it a raincheck when out proudly marches our first class of the day, the first graders. So we begin our planned lesson, splitting the class into three small groups (the same ones they had been split into last week) and try to remember names. I hold out my hand that is full of three different types of seeds: squash, beans, and corn. 

I first ask the kids if they knew what I had in my hand, and they all responded, saying they were in fact seeds, and that "These are what we need to put in the ground to make things grow!" "Exactly," I tell them. "Do you know what kinds of seeds these are?" The responses I got ranged from blueberries, to lemons, to different assortments of flowers. I asked how they knew the differences between the different kinds of seeds, and they named all of the correct answers, including color, shape, and size. We eventually worked together and specified which seed is which, followed by my question of where the seeds were located in the garden.

My group wasn't exactly sure about the beans and squash, but could remember the corn from the week before (pictured left). I think they remembered the uniquely circular shape of the bed that the corn is planted in. I told my group how not all corn was the standard yellow that they're used to, because the seeds we had were a deep red/violet (which is why they were mistaken for blueberries.) Also, the kids were excited to see growth in the corn plants from the week before, and wanted to know when they would be ready to eat. The rain started to come down a little, and my team didn't miss an opportunity to distract themselves, quickly pointing it out. "It's good!" I said. "We need some rain to help the garden grow; it's necessary nourishment." We ended up losing track of time from all of the interest in the seeds that we didn't get to plant the seeds together, but Sally, Alix, and I did put together a small pot of the planted seeds to give them when we see them next. Before they left though, I was able to get a picture of team blue proudly showing off the seeds they learned about today.

Unfortunately, we were rained out of the next two classes, but I'm glad we had to chance to meet with the first one again. It was great reconnecting with the kids over such a great project.

Until next time, Team Blue leader,

Monday, February 25, 2013

Let it grow!

Today was a calm, humid and sunless day at the Lakewood Garden.  Sadly, our Kindergarten class that was scheduled for today did not make it, but we still found things to do.  First, we watered all the beds and did some weeding while snacking on some green beans.  
Colby and I watering

Breege had the idea that we should plant some sunflowers in the empty beds and with Robin’s approval we began to plant them. As exciting as it is to see a plant when it reaches maximum growth, placing the seed in the soil is just as arousing.  After seeing the sunflowers at Sanderline, I am enthusiastic to watch those grow just as big!

Breege planting a sunflower seed

We were all very excited to see the start of a pineapple.  With my class last week the kids kept asking if they could pull  the crown out to get the pineapple.  I explained that that is not where the pineapple is and that it will come out of the center.  They did not get it and kept asking.  It was cute but now they will be able to watch how pineapples actually grow!

Pineapple on the way!

I was at Lakewood last Thursday and was pleasantly surprised to see how much everything had grown in just those 4 short days.  That is the great thing about gardening. Seeing something go from a minuscule seed to a green sprout and eventually a full-grown vegetable/fruit bearing plant is truly intoxicating.  Witnessing the whole process it truly humbling and the reward is worth the wait.  Similarly to those who workout and want results the next day, gardening is the same way.  Things take time to develop and like most things in life patience is essential. Secondary to teaching children, I am looking forward to watching the garden grow. 

The lovely garden

You can’t reap what you don’t sow
Plant a seed inside the earth
Just one way to know it’s worth
Let’s celebrate the world’s rebirth
We say let it grow
~"Let it grow" from The Lorax (2012)

By Katy

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

A Fresh Start

Welcome to our garden! Lakewood Elementary Spring 2013

Today was the first day of teaching lessons at Lakewood Elementary for the spring semester and excitement was in the air.   The excitement was shared between student and mentor as everyone came together and exchanged happy hellos.  We had three different classes of all different ages visit the garden today.  The kids lined up on the sidewalk as we counted them off by threes.  As soon as we divided into smaller groups,  the fun began.  Many of the children had visited the garden the fall before and were eager to be back.  Simple conversations turned into giggles as we talked about garden related subjects.  We all exchanged our opinions on favorite vegetables and fruits.  I was amazed to see how many of the kids actually enjoyed vegetables.  When I thought back to when I was a kid I never remembered feeling that way.  Perhaps the fact that these kids see their vegetables growing here makes them more interested in eating them.  Regardless,  it made me smile that these children loved their greens!  Next, the kids ate some fresh green beans from the garden that we picked for them.  Eating these little beans got them the most thrilled.  Walking around the garden we gently felt the different leaves and squatted to see the new seeds that had been planted.  Twenty-five minute visits with the kids felt like no time at all.

Andy gets a big hug from a student
Our garden beds for this spring

In between classes we watered the herb garden and planted a fresh dill plant.  We also planted corn in the Three Sisters garden.  How much life is already appearing in the garden is amazing.  To see it flourish before my eyes in this short amount of time makes me look forward to the semester.  I believe many lessons are ready to be learned these next few months! I am pumped to get to know these kids and learn some lessons from them as well.

Little beans beginning to sprout

Beautiful freshly planted corn!