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Monday, October 8, 2012

A Garden Aptly Named

 I began the day with painfully low energy, the overcast sky and humidity only adding to my general Monday weariness. Like we all sometimes feel, today was just about making it through to the point where I could happily lay my head down back on the pillow I hated to leave this morning and just relax. To be honest, prior to my shift, I doubted my ability to even teach the lesson I had a hand in designing (a little melodramatic, I know..but hey..it was that kind of day).

But here's the point of my sharing all of this: despite how incredibly weary I felt before coming out to the garden, the beauty of the work we do there is such that I always leave feeling reinvigorated. The weather hadn't improved, my schedule hadn't magically lightened up, but because of the two hours I spent with some amazing elementary school students, my day became easier.

Wes and I had a great time teaching the parts of the plant to Ms. Dillon's kindergarten and Ms. Johnson's first grade classes. We taught the basic parts and their functions, and then we went over the parts of the plant that we eat and had the students categorize pictures of broccoli, lettuce, peppers, etc. Before the activity, one of the girls in Ms. Dillon's class swore she didn't eat any plants because that was gross...only to later admit that she does indeed like potatoes (which are roots!).

I especially loved getting acquainted with Ms. Johnson's class. It was their first trip out to the garden, and their excitement and eagerness to learn and explore was contagious. I couldn't keep up with all of their questions, discoveries, and unbelievable stories that only first graders know how to tell. It was beautifully apparent how the garden played a profound role in providing a common space for shared learning and growth as the students collaborated and offered each other help, advice, and companionship.

All in all, it was a shift well spent. My internal restlessness proved to be no match for the hope and serenity of the Edible Peace Patch Garden.

Until next time,
Some of the materials we used to classify different edibles

We counted 5 watermelons today!


Red bell pepper


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