Almost 200 children, in the garden, every week

Parents started the elementary school garden 4.5 years ago.  We started by cleaning the space up, followed by more cleaning up of the space.  We built structures, renovated a gazebo, added raised beds, commissioned a table, put the compost bins in place and began fundraising and grant writing.  Every year we push the project forward—adding wildlife habitat, fruit trees, a solar fountain, works of art, native plants, a rainwater harvesting system….  Three years ago we launched Garden Ambassadors..and then two years ago I began teaching a formal garden class every Wednesday afternoon during our enrichment classes.  Last year we dove head first into Farm to School.

This February our garden education program took a big leap forward.  Every class now goes to the garden, every week, for a 30-40 minute class which I am honored to teach.  Children are in the garden all day long, doing more than we’ve ever done before–learning vocabulary, writing, singing, planting, harvesting, cooking, eating, mapping, creating, exploring.  It has been thrilling.  Thank you to everyone whose vision, hard work and love for “kids in gardens” has brought us to this point!  Extra special thanks to Julian Pathways (our on-campus family and student support center which I will write more about soon)  for making this phase of garden instruction possible!

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With the ESK class, ready to sing and hunt for letter of the week in the garden

12 thoughts on “Almost 200 children, in the garden, every week

  1. I remember the garden when– The gazebo was in a big box waiting for someone with a vision. The land was waiting for plants and trees and someone with a vision. Someone with a vision to add teaching table and benches, a beautiful gate, compost bins, rainwater system, outdoor kitchen, classes in the garden. I could go on and on! I remember 4 !/2 years ago when that person (my daughter) said to Allison “I have an idea!!!” So proud of your accomplishment!!!

  2. This is so exciting to hear about! My daughter’s school is moving in this direction. I have been doing gardening lessons periodically with one of the Kindergarten classes and it has been wonderful. It feels so necessary. Congratulations.

      • My favorite lesson so far was an investigation the kids did of the ailing pea vines. In one section of the garden the pea vines were not nearly as tall as in the adjacent areas. I had the kids think about what plants need to grow before going out. I also had them look closely at the plants for other signs of weakness or disease. Several of the kids determined that the shorter pea vines were not getting enough sun because the other vines had grown so tall and were creating too much shade. 🙂 Others discovered the white spots of powdery mildew.

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