All of these paths converge in the garden: beauty, ecology, experiential learning, nutrition, community service, character education, whimsy, engagement of all the senses. Add kids to gardens, and “What’s not to like?”
My name is Tricia Elisara, and I am passionate about childrens’ gardens, especially the ones you find at schools. I am one of the leaders of my kids’ school garden, and you can find me there most days of the week. Even though our garden is at a small, rural, public school, we seek to be connected to regional, national—even global—issues as we explore all that outdoor classrooms and beckoning garden spaces can do.
My hopes for this blog are the following:
To tell stories from the school garden that I am involved in as a means of documentation for me and (hopefully) inspiration, instruction and encouragement for others
To share resources and best practices related to kids’ gardens that I find along my journey
To write reflectively on the many topics that school gardens raise, from the power of parents to add value to their neighborhood schools to the need for children to have garden literacies and firsthand outdoor experiences in an increasingly technological age. I might talk about water-wise plants…..or heirloom vegetables….or the ways gardens can build community…..or the intersection of character development and garden tending…..or mentorship…..or advancing the common good by investing in shared spaces. Who knows? It could be big stuff (like using creativity to reimagine spaces, bringing dead things to life). Or it could be small (like a simple hummus recipe with fresh herbs that I recently taught in a parenting class.) In short, the garden as both reality and metaphor often touch on things I care about deeply.
A final word. Although I am drawing heavily on stories from our school garden, this blog is not in any way officially linked with the school. (You won’t see me calling for volunteers for next week’s work party or posting a calendar of events.) Rather I am approaching school gardens topically, making a case for them from every angle I can think of.
Welcome! I’m glad you’re here! Please leave comments, ask questions, subscribe and point me to good, relevant information/stories/resources. If you subscribe by e-mail, you can expect 1-2 posts a week. I faithfully respond to (and enjoy) every comment.
P.S. A note on my photo masthead. Though you can’t see anything green growing, this photo was taken in our school garden. The chain link fence definitely says school. But the “bubbly dome” you see is the top piece of a mosaic sculpture that sits in the butterfly habitat. My youngest son is peeking out from behind, reminding us that gardens can interrupt the status quo with wonder and possibility.