oh my you sweet sweet human, this blog is perfection. flora floods my mind & crams itself into my camera as well, adorable little plant friends. may i ask how you got started in teaching/ running a school? it is a dream of mine to live something like that- fantastic! much luck & love
Thanks for the praise and the great question. It got me thinking, which in turn got me writing a response many days in the formulation.
My interest in plants started at a very early age. I have planted and grown at least 7 different gardens from scratch (one in almost every house I’ve lived in). Nothing screams possibility like an empty patch of dirt. But I had an interest in all living things, and when I went to college I decided to study animals rather than plants, animal behavior and field biology to be specific, which some may argue prepared me perfectly for teaching young human children. I actually got into teaching because I ran my own skateboard camp for 5 years during the summers and really enjoyed working with kids, but that is another story entirely.
Much later when I was student teaching I had my first experience gardening with kids in Pittsburg, CA. That was when I first realized what a powerful teaching tool gardening with kids could be. They would gladly give up their recess or lunch for a chance to dig in the dirt. Everyday in the classroom they would look out the window at the bulbs and seedlings growing outside and get so excited.
Now ten years later I found a job teaching science at a middle school, I have a very supportive principal and parent community, and a quarter acre patch of dirt and weeds to try to wrestle into garden status. The work is hard, but as is often the case, planted seeds sometimes take time to reveal their true magnificence. My seeds are still growing.
I am SO excited. I finally have a teacher on board, to do the school’s garden. The empty parts of the campus are the same spots that bother her. I already made a site plan and have tons of seeds and starts here. This is how we’re going to spend our summer vacation. By the time the kids start back to school, there should be peppers, tomatoes, sunflowers, corn, onions and cukes all ready to pick. I think we’re going to grow some lettuce and cole crops in the shady areas.
I’m going to write up the lesson plan on natural pesticides and hopefully, we can get two learning gardens in by then. One section already has benches in a perfect location.
In speaking with the kids, I found that they are eager to do a beehive because they want to save the bees. It would be delightful if we can get a little farmer’s market going at the school. They could even make soaps and oils with the plants!