A garden is work. Lots and lots of work. It takes time and patience and sometimes a sense of humor. However, as exhausting as the process can sometimes be, a garden can be a little piece of heaven on earth. This is the way we feel about our school garden project. My husband and I have devoted countless hours to planning, preparing, teaching, and learning. We do this because it is important. It is the right thing to do for the environment and for the children at Oswegatchie Elementary school. When children tell me they like being in the garden because it is pretty and they feel good being there, I know all of our hard work is worth it. We call the garden OUR happy place because early in the morning as the sun is coming up and the birds are calling to each other while we water the tender plants, we can feel the weight of day to day nonsense melt away. We can feel our souls bubble over with joy and become energized. It's amazing what a little patch of soil and some seeds can sprout in you.
Okay, I've been told I "gush" too much about the garden but I am so profoundly proud of what our students accomplish every week that I just can't help myself. Here is what we've been up too this week. :)
We have encouraged the children to check the rain gauge and thermometer every week and chart their measurements. We want to teach them that when gardening, temperature and precipitation trends are important. You can look back and see what the conditions were like from year to year and compare plant growth to conditions.
We were able to "harvest" some black gold from our compost bin. My favorite comment all afternoon was "look at those big juicy ones!" when a child discovered numerous worms at work.
|Removing winter mulch and weeding the onions.|
|Planting companion zinnias to the bean bed.|
|Planting Connecticut Field and New England Sugar Pie pumpkins.|
|Using the "old fashioned" mower to cut the grass.|
|Planting more sunflowers.|
Mrs. Dyjak brought a beautiful assortment of home canned goodies and we discussed what people did before there were grocery stores and prepackaged foods. We talked about how preserving the food right from the garden is what many, many people used to do. We also talked about different ways to save food like freezing, canning, salting, and drying.
Our students are LOVING creating their Fairy Garden. Today they got to work creating amazing, well thought out structures like bridges and zip lines. Mrs. Bunnell is encouraging the children to think about the size and habits of fairies when creating their designs. It is inspirational to see the children collaborating and testing their ideas.
|Our pizza garden. Tomato, basil, and oregano.|
|2nd year oregano.|
|Vermont Red Kernel Popcorn|
|Kale and Swiss Chard.|
|Sugar snap peas.|
School will be out in less than a month but our project will continue all through summer. Looking back through the photos from last year it is mind boggling to see how fast everything fills in. Even from week to week the growth is amazing.