Welcome! This blog follows the building, cultivating, and harvesting of the Lakewood Elementary schoolyard garden in St. Petersburg, Florida. Since January 2009, the Edible Peace Patch Project has been developing innovative community-oriented food system and nutrition educational programs in south St. Petersburg, Florida. Lakewood Elementary is the 1st school to participate in our Garden Education Program!
Liz and I began our day at Lakewood getting our lesson together for the kids while attempting to bear the cold. It was the big seed planting day and we weren't sure how many classes we'd get out with the dreary weather. While waiting for them and weeding, we discovered that the bean plants were burgeoning despite the dozens and dozens we collected last Friday.
We were very excited to have something to harvest
This little surprise offered a great addition to our lesson. While asking the children questions about the seeds, we were able to show them the seeds inside the pods, exemplifying the full circle of seed life. Our first grade class was impeccably knowledgable about seeds and the way they grow, so the lesson was very exciting for them.
Each question was met by a sea of raised hands, and the students seemed to really enjoy explaining the process of a seed growing roots down and the plant growing up. They also were well versed in the necessities of keeping a seed and plant healthy, so I trust that we will have sprouted plants when the class brings their potted seeds back next week.
Although they love to get outside, walk around, and see what's growing in their garden (because it has been established in all our classes that these kids do in fact like to take ownership for it), I think their favorite part was getting to take a green bean with them. It was alI we could do to keep them from taking the whole pile from the table the instant they saw them. It was amazing to see children so eager to eat something so very green and untouched by anything that could mask its flavor. These kids wanted to eat a raw, dirty vegetable, and it was truly a beautiful sight.
Just one of the many treasures you can find in the garden
Can't wait to see what next week has for us here!