Welcome back to the garden! As we do every once in a while, allow me to take you on a seasonal tour of garden education at Julian Elementary.
We started the year by “decorating” the garden with flowers. We let many unirrigated flower boxes and pots go over the summer, so we freshened them up with some color.
Third-fifth graders created/updated their garden journals for the year with seed catalogue collages. This lesson was forced inside because of the wind.
We have the best apple harvest to date. We’ve been picking them like crazy.
Last week I did lessons on how to use a dehydrator. I did a small demo in the class, then we went out to the garden for the students to get a chance to use the peeler/corer/slicer and layer up the trays.
We also talked about pears and made a “pear salsa” served on graham crackers. Students then took home small pear recipe booklets with an “at home cooking challenge.”
I also chose a new crop of garden ambassadors, and they jumped right into their new jobs: helping with lunchtime composting and giving the Monday Morning Garden Report.
Garden education is expanding at our school. We split my job from last year and now I am the in-school garden educator two days a week, and the unbelievably awesome Miss Kat is the after school garden educator three days a week.
Though I have the best support imaginable from administrators, teachers, staff, Pathways, and Pathways director and rockstar-in-residence Susi Jones, it is so awesome to have an in-the-garden, shoulder to shoulder, fellow teacher in Kat. I have enjoyed so many things—the technical garden planning, the lesson sharing, the inspiration of a kindred vision—but I’ll focus on one thing in particular.
Every week I go to the garden and there are wonderful things happening that someone else made happen. It is downright thrilling. Thanks Miss Kat for bringing so much wisdom, experience, love for children, and love for the earth to our little public school….
Here’s a sample of Miss Kat’s work in the garden in our first month of school:
She collected coyote gourds and the students decorated them and chose seeds with which to fill them:
Students collected and examined seeds:
She also taught the students to make tiny Johnny Appleseed dolls with dried apple faces:
Finally, she and her husband Jim created this beautiful “eat a rainbow” mural for the outdoor lunch area. We love you Miss Kat!