Each Monday morning from 10 to 11 our “Busy Bee” pre-schoolers jump, shake, clap, sing, and pick, dig, water, or plant. The month of November we rotate through the Seed to Table cycle: plant, water, harvest, cook. This morning after we “wiggled our waggles away” we went out to the garden and gathered at the entrance. Kat explained to the children and their grown-ups that the Thanksgiving holiday is to mark the end of the harvest season and celebrate the earth’s abundance. It was only right to celebrate this holiday together by learning what it feels like to harvest! We made our way to our edamame patch and began to pick. As usual some of our little friends lasted one or two minutes with the task before they run off to the bunnies, chickens, fairy garden or mud cafe. Other Busy Bees stayed for over 15 minutes on the same task of picking beans! One 3 year old boy repeated every fact about the beans over and over the entire time we picked: “We plant these beans in the spring,” “We pick these beans in the fall,” We eat these beans after they are cooked,” and his mom mentioned that he will be talking about it all day. She also decided while we were picking that it might be time to grow a garden. Planning on homeschooling, she understood that a home garden would give them their own food, and a classroom for science.
We think that every formal school subject and many family and cultural values can be taught in a garden. From the history of the United States to geometry to family traditions, a home garden adds beauty and richness to a child’s life. It is growing food that can teach us the simple lessons to be careful, to value life, to coordinate or bodies, to watch closely. Growing food is a complex part of human life and so when one finds mastery in one area, there is always another!
Is it time to start a garden of your own?
Now is a perfect time to build your home garden beds. Take advantage of the beautiful weather and family in town this weekend to build your own lasagna garden beds. Have you heard of this technique? It’s also called sheet mulching. Save your Thanksgiving food scraps for your garden bed! What a fun and EASY thing to do in between leftovers and football!
Here is some good information about it: http://www.motherearthnews.com/Organic-Gardening/1999-04-01/Lasagna-Gardening.aspx?page=4#ixzz1eNZrat2H