4th grade came to after-school Garden Club this week, and I really enjoyed having some older students appreciating the garden. I am continually amazed at their love of swiss chard, kale, mustard greens…and it leads me to reflect on our role as adults as “the hands that feed.”
When a students asks, “what is that?” at a dark-red and green leafy vegetable growing from seeds they planted, they are usually curious rather than disgusted. I show them how to harvest the leaves and tell them they are free to snack. “I gotta tell my mom to buy this at the store!” they exclaim, munching away while giving their body all kinds of super-charged nutrients. Imagine walking the produce section and your child nagging you to buy more bok choy and rainbow chard. Why do we perceive children as only eating sugar cereal and flamin-hot-cheetoes?
We harvested the dried sunflower heads and some huge cucumbers, which I sliced. Snack time! They all wanted more.
I was digging away in the garden I found a time capsule addressed “to the people of the future” ! I discovered buried treasure! So far none of the teachers or staff knows who made it or when it was burried…a great mystery! I will most likely relocate it to another part of the garden where it will not be disrupted again for many generations.
The garden classroom is an amazing place. I have the privilege of witnessing the enthusiasm of kids in the garden, and their fresh insignts. I support teachers to bring their classrooms outside, allowing them to incorporate the garden and its many lessons into their tight schedule. I see it inspiring creativity in everyone, and I am pleased to be a facilitator and bridge to this experience.