Monday, June 17, 2013

One pretty garden

One pretty garden...

Here's a peek at Davenport Ridge ES vegetable garden in Stamford,CT. Under the care of an outstandingly creative and hard-working art teacher, the vegetables are flourishing and the children who get to visit and harvest are having a unique learning experience.
Notice the colorful birdhouses. The yellow one now has tenants! Notice also the height of the beds, the bright orange potato grow bags, the generous spacing between beds, the overall neatness of the plan and the design. Vertical supports add interest but also help with growing of vegetables that might suffer from fungus if left laying on the soil: tomato ladders, trellis for peas. Marigolds outline the tomato bed to thwart certain insects. The sturdy fence keeps out the deer.
There is a collection of 24 small stools to enable the children to visit, sit, observe, draw, write...enjoy. Water source is in the garden and the garden is exposed to sunlight all day long - no obstructions.
The summer schedule has been posted on the school's website for families to volunteer a visit. They get to water and bring home some of the harvest. The single visit is about 30 minutes long. That's it for one family - one 30 minute visit. 8 families, sign up 30  minutes  one time during the summer. In this way the garden is tended all summer and will still be flourishing and producing when the students return in late August,  ready for the fall succession planting.
Thanks to all teachers who bring this element of life and learning to their students. A garden is a gift to everyone who gets to step into it. It feeds the soul, the mind, and the body.