Friday, October 9, 2015
Today was our first day back in the garden at Lakewood Elementary for this semester and what a lovely day it was. I had the privilege of getting to meet some awesome Pre-K students this morning and am looking forward to getting to garden with them throughout the rest of the year. Today we took a look around the garden and checked out the growing pineapple plants and papaya trees. Two of the papaya fruits were ripe and ready so we pulled them off the tree and the Pre-K students and their teachers got to take them back to class; a sweet treat for a Friday! We also showed the students the three raised garden beds we have where we will be planting many other things throughout the year. It was the first time out in the garden for all the students so this will be an exciting semester as we get to be a part of their first school garden experience.
Wednesday, May 6, 2015
After a spring semester full of teacher related challenges, disruptions, and no shows, Mrs. Allen's class at Lakewood Elementary surprised Peace Patch volunteers Alyssa and Laura by actually coming out! It was so great to see the kids. They hugged us and were so energized!! They had not been in the garden in a long time. They were like a litter of excited puppies cavorting around.
One boy asked if he could nibble on the carrot top and I said yes. And, because of how mature the carrots looked and summer recess looming, I invited this student to go ahead and try to pull a carrot. He did and within seconds, the entire class descended upon the carrot patch and soon every child was triumphantly hoisting a perfectly formed carrot. It all happened so fast it was almost supernatural! The energy crackling through the garden that day was otherworldly.
In the blink of an eye class was over and the teacher started to line the children up to leave. Suddenly, I saw a photo opportunity! I cried for Alyssa to get her phone out and take a picture. All the children lined up jubilantly holding their carrots high. What follows is what I call "The Money Shot." All 13 carrots!!
Tuesday, March 3, 2015
As I reflect on the arch like nature of the photograph I took while in the Lakewood Garden I think about how gardens can serve as a window to our souls. Gardens can serve as a soothing relaxing place to escape the rigors or daily life. A place to just be, exist, and feel safe and comforted - not trampled on. Our soul or psyche is no different. Often the deepest longing of the soul is to be accepted and loved just as is, weeds and all. As we learn how to nurture and tend the garden let us not forget to tend and nurture ourselves, our psyche. For just as gardens need tending, loving, and constant care, so does our soul. Let the garden serve as the gateway or lens into the essential feeding of our souls.