Carolyn Coons is one of our many volunteers working on the Springdale Children’s Garden. Here she shares an update:
Springdale Children’s Garden Update 11.17.12
The fall colors, and relatively warm weather have made the garden a glorious place to be the past few weeks. Our children are practicing looking, listening and smelling on their visits and have been richly rewarded. The views of the surrounding hills and clouds, the abundant bird, spider and worm activity and the seedlings emerging from the seeds they planted have delighted all. The sounds of the growing stream and rain falling remind them of the essential elements. The smells of decaying leaves, trapped moles and our growing compost pile continue to fascinate even the most squeamish amongst us. The children continue to show up willing and excited to engage in garden tasks and greatly inspire all of the volunteer garden crew with their enthusiasm. Thank you!
This week students participated in their first real harvest! A beautiful salad was made from the greens they thinned from the covered hoop beds. Students helped wash, prepare and serve the salad at lunch to Ms. Steichen and Mr. Phillips class. Olive oil, balsamic vinegar and sea salt were provided for a fun tasting experience. “I just discovered a new spicy lettuce” and “I’ve never tasted lettuce by itself before and I like it” were some of the comments overheard! Special thanks to students Joclyn, Sydney, Maleena, Kiki, Ellie and Jake for help with salad preparation and presentation. Big thanks to Steve Dixon for providing on-going instruction and dedicated assistance with the hoop bed cultivation.
Special thanks to Gary Law for another great lesson on compost. Students were introduced to the individual components of the pile over the past month and this week were treated to a very orderly pile readied for winter. They measured the temperature of the pile with a soil thermometer and decided it was ‘hot’! Continual harvests will not be possible without sweetening our soil with compost and other amendments so we hope to keep it steaming over winter!
Thanks also to Marni Conti, Tracy Brill and Julia Christopher for volunteering every week, rain or shine, to help with garden tasks and instruction. Our parent friendships continue to grow in the garden too!
The word is getting out about the garden. This week, a local scout visited the garden with his parents to consider rebuilding the bridge over the stream for his Eagle Scout project! Corbett resident Chi Wilburn, a licensed acupuncturist and Chinese herbalist, also visited to show the school to her young children and to offer her help with creating a medicinal herb garden.
Big news-students began their first art installation in the garden this week!
Even the most hesitant students found themselves pulled in, cooperatively creating string webs in the trees with their classmates using natural fiber yarns. They can continue to add to them each week, and were encouraged to collect (biodegradable) items for weaving into the webs. We hope they have been inspired by the previous weeks exploration of spiders and lichens. We are also hoping any students interested in photography will feel drawn to the webs/looms as a subject for photographing. Transformations from the dew, mist, snow and ice can be enchanting! Hope you feel compelled to experience our little garden wonder area too!