Seed Classes – Lessons Learned
Of all the lessons we learned this year at Forest Grove Elementary’s Garden Program, the big one was that direct sowing, planting right into the garden, yielded an amazing harvest. Bringing kids outside to use the garden as it was intended, as an outdoor classroom, even in the rain, was a real hands on and hands in the ground experience.
The kids were able to see what was already “growing on” in the garden. An orientation of what was what in all the areas and space in the garden was included in the class.Even though it was raining on most of the days, this allowed an opportunity to speak about various natural weather meters nature provides. A hill that faces the garden and all the kids have to climb up to get to the playground and garden via 2 different staircases also was home to a huge crop of growing dandelions.
I know, most of us gardeners view dandelions as weed or foodies view them as potential food. I took the lower road and saw an opportunity to show the kids that dandelions do many things. One of the cool things about dandelions is the fact they are natural weather meters. When the buds are closed, that is a sign that it is either raining or rain is on it’s way.
Sofija, a Gr. 1 student in the Mandarin Program at our school, had a brilliant connection. She stated to me: “I know why they close! Because if the petals were open, then the rain couldn’t get down into the roots!” And when I asked her why that was important she said: “because the roots is how the plant drinks in the water!” What other opportunity would she have to show her brilliance I wondered…
Shovels are a favourite of most kids. We have kids that love to use their hands and some that prefer to use a shovel. Puddles were my natural cleaning area to scrub them off after each class. Thank you rain!