“It is thrifty to prepare today for the wants of tomorrow.”
It’s all about the big picture. While cultivating the children’s garden today, we are also thinking about and planning for tomorrow. Weeding, trellising, pruning suckering; those tasks are everywhere a gardener looks during the growing season. There’s no use denying it! My students will help with all of those things for a small portion of their class time and will begin to spend more time prepping us for the winter months by doings things like;
- harvesting herbs that will be used to make tea and potpourri
- collecting seeds for seed-saving
- drying flowers for cards or other craft projects
- growing gourds to dry and make something interesting out of at a later date (Remember the fun we had with lufas?)
By splitting activities with students between day-to-day tending, winter prep chores and simple summer fun, our garden bears wonderful fruits. It seems to work the same way for many of our students who are facing challenges within themselves every day. Small steps are taken daily that make today a little better than yesterday. Every small step that a child makes in learning about themselves and how to best work through their issues benefits them in the months and years to come.
This garden of ours sure does give us a lot of food for thought.
The bamboo stakes provide support for our tomatoes, standing tall like centuries at their post. Can’t wait for Salsa Week!
This year we increased the number of “personal beds” for high school students that have shown a real love of gardening and cultivating food. They choose their crops, tend to their needs and reap the fruits!
Chim Chiminee Rudbeckia was another welcome returnee from last year’s garden. Even though this plant is considered a perennial in zones south of us, with a heavy mulch of straw, clumps came back en mass. Hopefully they will naturalize and become a permanent part of our landscape.
Gooseberries are reddening and sweetening up! In the past we’ve made pies and crumbles, maybe this year we’ll try jam.
The peas make the climb towards the top of “Mount Teepee!” These are enjoyed daily, right off the plant.
The colors of Bright Lights Swiss Chard, light up the bed. Beautiful sights like this keep us in the moment.
We’ve devotedly been harvesting and drying lavender to have for use over the winter months for artisanal projects like tea, soap and potpourri making.
We continue to work on our new labyrinth; fine-tuning edging and working on drainage issues. The younger kids have really surprised me by how attracted they are to walking our new pathways! I hope this addition to our garden will bring peace to many, many people of all ages to come.
Roselle (a species of hibiscus) stands tall in front of Orlaya (which happily reseeded from last year’s crop) and shiso. The roselle and shiso will be used for tea-making, and possibly to make vegetable-based dyes.