August 5, 2010
I was sitting at my desk going through fieldnotes after a week spent at The Farm School. I looked out the window to see my kitty corner neighbor and day care owner lead a line of eager kids back to her home. The Farm School’s mission is centered around experiential learning-to give kids the chance to act as scratching posts, plant seeds and make cheese. This sort of learning is good for the soul as well as the brain. I hopped up from my desk and walked around the corner, hoping to catch the crew before they headed inside. Proudly wearing my Farm School shirt I invited the group to visit my place for a tour of the backyard garden.
Our plot is small but proud and the kids loved it. They arrived in a line, each holding a piece of rope that they were quick to drop. I needed some help with garden chores, so the 10 or so Pre-Ks helped water our tomatoes, cucumbers and newly seeded beans and squash. They already knew that plants need sunshine and water and we all took a big breath and blew out CO2 to “feed” them together. After, we crowded around the cucumbers and felt their fuzzy leaves as I harvested some fruits for a tasting. They loved the juicy and mild flavor of the lemon cucs, but preferred to feed them to Laverne and Shirley, our hens. The kids couldn’t stay away from the run and peered at our big and charismatic chickens, some picking up feathers as souvenirs.
It was hard to peel them away from L & S, but planting beans requires volunteers. We headed to the driveway to put the big black seeds in a pot next to the fence. One girl poked holes in the soil with her finger and four other kids dropped seeds into the holes. I told them I would bring the beans by when the plant is fruiting.
What a fun and educational morning! I learned not to be shy about talking to my neighbors and that I don’t spend nearly enough time with youngins. Let me know if you have any that would enjoy coming over.