2nd grade students have been harvesting every day this week. The seeds and seed tape they planted in the fall has grown into lovely long and fat (sometimes not) carrots for them to take home. The ‘ooh’ and ‘ahh’ and laughter when each student pulls their carrot from the ground would make a passerby think a magic show is underway. It is – nature in its finest allowing a tiny seed to create a nutrient-dense food for us to enjoy.
We’ve watched eggplants bloom and green peppers growing larger by the day. Empty spots that were filled with carrots only moments before have been planted with fennel seeds. The birdhouse gourd produced a few large specimens but then died. It has been especially rainy this year, perhaps this caused the early plant death? That’s the students have hypothesized. We’ve reseeded and will hope for a better outcome. The loofah vine looks a mess with various insects chewing it up but its produced 3 or 4 foot-long loofahs that are still growing.
Our collard leaves are huge and waiting for someone to harvest and create a delicious dish for us to taste. Speaking of taste – members of the Garden Club created a salad of mustard greens, parsley and radish dressed simply with vinegar and oil. Some club members thought the mustard greens were spicy but liked the fresh radish. One kindergarten club member really liked the mustard greens and gobbled up his bowl. There is a special feeling when you eat the food you’ve grown – pride, satisfaction, maybe even love?
The butterfly garden continues to flourish. Salvia has reseeded and already started blooming, again. We’ve watched dozens of fat monarch caterpillars munch our milkweed down and then disappear to form their chrysalis. Some we find and are able to observe the next steps in the butterfly life cycle others are hidden from us. With 2 large cabbage palms in the garden we’ve worked hard to stay on top of the palm seeds sending up endless shoots.
The edible forest has been quietly growing. An overzealous lawn mower knocked out the hardy basil and an avocado. The coconuts we’d placed disappeared. We’re making signs to go with the ‘CAUTION’ tape to keep the rest of the plants safe. An FSE volunteer has taken on the edible forest as his mission and we’re so happy about this turn of events! We’ve also found an FSE volunteer that would like to use, and teach us, about creating plants from cuttings to improve the areas by some of the classrooms. Volunteers are wonderful people out to do good. Yay!
Lots on the agenda, lots already in motion. If you have time in the morning and would like to weed, chat with the students and watch our gardens flourish please join us! We’re out every morning it isn’t raining working and learning together.
We make a living by what we get, but we make a life by what we give. – Winston Churchill