Okay, whether it’s because of my age or current pop culture ignorance, I’m not sure. Apparently zombies are very trendy. They’re featured in commercials, some computer game called Minecraft, movies and when we execute fire drills (we come up with elaborate scenarios to make sense of evacuating the garden), kids are always begging to make the emergency a . And according to Wikipedia, “By 2011 the influence of zombies in popular consciousness had reached far enough that the United States government’s Centers for Disease Control and Prevention used the idea as a theme to promote disaster preparedness.”
So when it came time to plan the Halloween route for our trick-or-treaters here on campus, the garden became one of the proposed stops. With all the chatter about zombies, it seemed obvious that our theme should center around the undead.
With the help of two or three classes and the farm interns we pulled off a pretty cool first attempt at a Haunted Garden. Although the older kids were not scared by our “Witches’ Tunnel” or the person popping out of the student-made cardboard coffin, everyone had a lot of fun. This event added to the collective memory of days in the garden at Green Chimneys. Like a piece of fabric constantly being woven, these experiences create a tapestry that we all become a part of. I like that. Creating memories here together around different seasons, crops, activities and holidays is what helps create community. So, while I may not be a Halloween devotee, this particular Halloween will be one the students and I remember, as our first year in the Haunted Garden. Thank you zombies.