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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,

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