The students of Buena Vista Elementary love talking about worms and who better to teach them about this subject, than parent Joel Marshall, Director of Village Farmers Market Association. He is an avid gardener and vermicomposter, and is now working to get a farmers’ market started in the Vandenberg Village community.
The weather last month was off and on rain and this particular morning the sky was ominous. Joel had signed up to talk to the students and I was hoping we did not have to cancel. We met in the garden and then walked ~20 feet to the closest classroom, opened the door and brought half of the class out (at a time) for the lesson, including his son. The 4th graders walked out of class and gathered excitedly on the hay bales.
It was chilly outside, but the students forgot about that as soon as Joel started passing around carrots from his garden for them to try! He explained that all of the green waste at home (including carrots), goes to the worms, the worms digest it, and then he uses this rich fertilizer on his garden to grow more carrots and other veggies. Some students thought that it was a little strange that the worms helped “grow” the healthy snacks they were eating!
Then the students gathered around the stacking worm bins that Joel brought in and they all had a look. He asked them why the worms wiggle when the lid was taken off…they live in the dark! He did not want to disturb the worms too much, so the students had a quick look and the lid went back on. There was a lot of excitement when he held out his hand for the students to see the worms! The rain held off for us and the class had a chance to fill out a worksheet to reinforce the ideas learned during the lesson. Thanks again to Joel for his time and we look forward to having him visit and help with the Buena Vista school garden again in the future!
Here are the worm links and book titles Joel provided for the class:
Worms Eat My Garbage, Mary Appelhot
The Worm Book, Loren Nancarrow & Janet Hopgan Taylor