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Thursday, April 25, 2013

Harmony in the Garden


As the school year is coming to an end and academic work is winding down, the Edible Peace Patch is gearing up for an exciting last couple weeks in the gardens! With the Harvest Festival scheduled for May 8th, there is now a very real end to this very unique experience. As students teaching other students, it was incredible to see both volunteers and child participants transform into self-sustaining educators. This was most evident in this week's lesson: bugs!

Typically the children at Lakewood Elementary School can be a difficult group to manage. The kids sometimes tend to venture on their own throughout the garden in search of 'cool' plants and bugs, which I fully support, but poses as a challenge when teaching a lesson to a whole class. Nonetheless, fortunately for us and the kids, this week's lesson left everyone in high spirits. The lesson was focused on bugs, particularly the different roles bugs play in the garden, which also involved a scavenger hunt. After a quick overview of this week's topic, the kids were on the hunt! Giddy with excitement, the kids navigated the garden with a certain familiarity; a calm came over the garden. It was truly great, since the kids were allowed to fulfill their deepest desire, to get dirty and play with bugs, while we were able to actually teach the lesson fully. Although a long period of time passed before we could reach this kind of harmony between teachers and students in the garden, it was well worth it. There is no greater reward than to experience achieving one's maximum potential, not only in the children, but in us as well.

1.A Lady Bug: Predator: eat bugs such as aphids and caterpillars that hurt the plants.
2. Rolly Pollies: Recycler: break down organic matter into recycled fertilizer for the garden.
3. Bees: Pollinator: pollinate flowers, which is essential to plant reproduction. 

Paul M Amsel

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