One of the reasons we started this project is so children could connect with nature. We began to realize that many children did not know where food comes from or how to be outside and just explore the world around them. The Garden seemed like a logical choice for both situations to be rectified. Rob and I both grew up in places that lent themselves to hours of uninterrupted exploration of both woods and gardens. We share our love of nature with our own children and wanted to extend that sense of wonder. We were ecstatic when we came across Kelly Johnson's website Wings Worms and Wonder. She embodies the exact spirit we hope to infuse into our Garden project. Part of today's Garden club was inspired by her Draw Yourself Back to Nature art class Rob and I are taking online. Children were encouraged to go into the Garden and sketch what they were drawn to. Here are a few more examples.
The recent warm spell has caused everything to pop in the past couple of weeks. Some of the seeds we planted last week are starting to come up as are seeds that fell from last year's fruits and flowers.
|sunflower planted last week just starting to sprout|
|self-seeded morning glories|
|corn starting to sprout|
|peas are now over 6 inches tall|
|Kale growing nicely|
Since this project is funded primarily by profits through Rob's Etsy shop and by us, we needed to get creative for bringing in more donations for the Garden. We want it to be self-supporting and want the children to be able to learn about a small business model so we came up with the idea of saving seeds to use as a fundraising project. This week we had the children package the seeds we have saved from last years crops. We have popcorn, three types of beans, sunflowers, lettuce, kale, and greens. All of the seeds are organic heirlooms. We will be making them all available and asking for a fair "donation" in exchange. All of the "profits" will be put directly back into supplies and materials for the Garden. When Rob tested each variety for germination rates we were astounded with an unheard of 100% germination rate. Most germinated within 24 hours. Like I always tell the children; "There is magic in the Garden!"
This project continues to be rewarding. Every week we are inspired by the children to bring them activities that will spark their sense of wonder and enjoyment of the natural world. If we haven't said it already, thank you Kelly Johnson for refueling our creative juices!