When I asked for teacher volunteers go grow seeds for the Oswegatchie garden, I figured a handful of them would be willing to help out. I am thrilled to say thirteen classroom teachers, our Basic Skills Coordinator, and our School Secretary all volunteered to use the kits Rob and I put together. That is more than 50% participation from the teachers and we couldn't be more pleased!
Seed Starting Kits lined up ready to distribute.
Each kit contains everything needed to successfully start herb, vegetable or flower seedlings including teacher and student directions. The children seem willing and eager to help launch this exciting project and are asking thoughtful questions about gardening. Part of our vision for this project is to get children excited about growing healthy, organic, sustainable food and being able to participate in every phase of the project.
Mrs. Concascia's class exploring the seeds before planting them.
Many hands make light work.
I'd like to extend a heart-felt thank you to the children in the classes of Mrs. DeLea, Ms. Edwards, Ms. Campbell, Ms. McDonald, Ms. Fleming, Mrs. Concascia, Mrs. Venditti, Mrs. Saucier, Mrs. Trott, Mrs. Bentley, Mrs. Quiles-Glover, Mrs. Radack, and Mrs. Haywood-Leal. An extra special shout out to our School Secretary Mrs. Silva and Basic Skill Coordinator Ms. Bouchard who are starting seedlings for us as well. You all are the most important part of this garden project!
One of the reasons for this blog is to keep you informed on our vision and goal of this garden project. For us the scope is so massive we would overwhelm you (and ourselves) to put it out there all at once. Just as a garden takes time to grow and flourish, so does this project and blog. We will give you snippets of this vision as they crystallize and as time allows. So.....
Growing up without a lot of money, our families (mine and Rob's) relied on gardens to supplement our family food budgets. My mother and Rob's grandmother would can and freeze vegetables as well as make homemade jams and jellies. There was something so sublime about cracking open a jar of homemade strawberry jam in the middle of winter and savoring the summer's sweetness. That would really warm up those long, cold winter days! From a young age Rob was "given" a plot of raspberry plants. He was responsible for tending and harvesting them. Once he had a crop ready he would take them to his local corner store and sell them to the owner to be re-sold in the store. Eating and preparing whole, unprocessed food has become a lost art. In our busy society people don't always have the time to grow, harvest, and prepare what our children's growing bodies need. Our "fast food" nation has contributed to the poor health of our society. In this garden undertaking we'd like to teach families that it doesn't take a lot of money or time to supplement our kid's diets with fresh, organic, nutrient dense foods. Even if you only have space for a potted plant on your apartment's windowsill, you can still enjoy a multitude of fresh veggies and herbs. Once families learn how to grow the food we will be holding classes on how to prepare all those yummy jewels they harvest. The ideas for learning opportunities are endless with a school garden and eventually we envision them all coming to fruition. I hope you will all join us in the growth process.