Garden Tour, April 2012

Every once in a while, I’d like to give you a quick tour of what’s current in the school garden.  Welcome to the first installment.

Mrs. Dawson’s first grade class broadcast California wildflower seed in this demonstration bed:

Our grapes are growing along the fence:

We have a new cedar shed.  Isn’t it adorable?  We waited a long time for this shed, raising the money to buy a quality unit.  So glad we did!

Our native strawberry bed continues to be lush and prolific:

A cute sign my younger son made in a craft workshop with Marisa:

Here’s a bed we sowed with nitrogen-fixing legumes to organically improve our soil:

Our current garden bulletin board:

A craft project from a couple years ago:  Our garden rocks!  Yes, it does.

Garden bulletin board, by kids

I once heard a garden coordinator say that she tried to never work in the garden alone–she always invited someone to join her.  In that way, she was always building the knowledge and skill base of other volunteers—and she always had company!

Sometimes it takes me a while to remember that most every garden job can be used to teach something.  All month I’ve been passing our garden bulletin board and thinking, “Oh dear, that really needs updated!”  And then it occurred to me to offer a bulletin board making activity for NEAT day, an hour of enrichment on Friday afternoon.

I gave the four students the information that needed to go on the board: newspaper clippings and information I wrote on cards.  Then we talked about palette–about choosing a color scheme that guides what colors you choose for a project. (Thank you artist friends for helping me to think like this!)  We pawed through big boxes of handmade and recycled papers, talking about mixing in texture.  We discussed accents and surprises and splashes of whimsy to make something more interesting. I told stories about the scraps of paper in the box (like the remnant of marbled paper I brought from Italy, the handmade pieces I had picked up at fair trade stores and the scraps I had collected from Christmas cards and wrapping paper.)

Then the kids went for it.  The result was sweet and colorful, and they were very proud of it.  We’ll change it next month, with another group of students, and learn some more.