Grandview Garden Club
2013 was our first year creating an edible school garden for the first, second and third graders at Grandview School. With Master Gardener volunteers, we continued the goals of the USDA People’s Garden grant Grandview had received, expanding the vegetable beds and engaging every child in gardening. The Grandview Garden Club was formed and each class used one recess period every three weeks to work in the garden. The students are engaged in all aspects of gardening, from planning, to planting and transplanting, to thinning and weeding, watering, measuring growth and harvesting. They participated in fall cleaning of the beds, raking and harvesting sunflower seeds, culminating the 2013 growing season with a family event putting the garden to bed for winter.
We planted early vegetable crops so the students could taste fresh peas, lettuces, herbs and radishes. Before school ended, the children enjoyed some over-wintered spinach, kale and leeks. Summer harvesting was done by volunteers, the maintenance crew and family volunteers. It is our goal to develop a summer family network so the fresh produce can reach our students/families.
We created a salad bar at the school’s Field Day Barbeque, offering vegetable choices from those growing in our edible garden, It was a great success with children tasting vegetables they had planted but had never eaten.
Along with the gardening activities goes discussion about health, nutrition, sustainability, recycling, organic methods, conservation and respect for all life, even tiny bugs found in the soil. We have learned that our students love to water and weed, but all activity stops when they find worms! The hand magnifiers come out and they study the creature they have found. All living things, after careful inspection and hearty discussion, are placed back where they were found. Everyone benefits from this wonderful experience of gardening.
KGI is a nonprofit community of over 30,000 people who are growing some of our own food and helping others to do the same.
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