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!
It was a beautiful and sunny day at the Lakewood Peace Patch
as Liz, Breege, Olivia, and I rolled up for our maintenance shift at 11:00.
Robin greeted us with a few small things to do besides watering, such as
sorting out old seed packets from newer ones and weeding some of the beds. It
had been 2 weeks since the four of us were last at Lakewood, as we helped chop
bamboo down for bed material last week instead of going to our usual shift at
the garden. As we walked around, we were surprised at the little changes we
noticed hidden throughout the garden. When we stuck our faces into the
beautiful crop of corn shooting up in the three sisters bed we were surprised
to see some of the beans climbing up the corn stalks. Lakewood is the only
school that I have noticed the plants in the three sisters bed actually working
together like they are supposed to! It was an incredible sight of commensalism
and harmony between plants.
Can you see the bean plant climbing up the corn?
I must have not been paying much attention to the pineapples
the last couple weeks, because my breath was literally taken away when I saw
the new baby ones sprouting up from the tops of the parent pineapples. You
teach the kids all about the time and the energy the plants invest to produce
one pineapple fruit, and to see the progress before your own eyes is amazing.
When I look around at all of the vibrant vegetation pouring
out of the beds I become more and more excited for the Harvest Festival. I am
assigned to be at Lakewood for the half hour period before the festival and I
am really looking forward to seeing the kids show the garden off to the
parents. Its success is a product of their hard work, curiosity, and passion,
and I have been so lucky to be apart of that this semester.