Students partner with nature through worm composting and sheet mulching, learning the importance of recycling food waste and building healthy soil. They explore garden design, select what to grow, start seeds and transplant. A great benefit of sheet mulching is lower maintenance and water needs.
Students enjoy harvesting the yellow, green, purple, black and of course the red tomatoes, along with all the other vegetables they decide to grow. The students are always amazed at how great their vegetables taste and how fun cooking is, surprising themselves and their parents. Of course they feed the worms their food scraps and the worm compost goes into the garden, completing the cycle.
These activities are inquiry based, learner led and create a foundation for supporting the whole child, that 21st century learner. Gardens foster all qualities of the 21st century learner, creating tomorrows entrepreneurs, leaders, collaborators, and creative thinkers.
We are passionate about educating children that healthy soil and plants lead to healthy food, which results in healthy bodies.
Here is a summary of how we touched all grade levels at Sandburg Elementary.
- Sunflower and bean seeds were direct seeded by kindergarteners.
- 1st grade students completed sensory pumpkin books and taste tested sweet and savory pumpkin soup.
- Once a month lessons with 2nd graders integrating garden and cooking activities into curriculum, and students worm compost all year for seed starting and adding to the garden.
- 3rd graders celebrated the rewards of their edible garden they started from seed as 2nd graders through a garden harvest pizza party in the fall, where they harvested and prepped their garden produce and used it to top their pizzas. The pizzas were a real hit!
- Since older grades kept asking the principal “when can we do something in the garden” we incorporated a tomato tasting at the garden for 4th and 5th graders.
- Spin Gardening is a model we may incorporate for older grades interested in selling food to their school cafeteria or local restaurants, in addition to hosting youth farmers markets. These are GREAT ways for kids to start developing real life business skills. They are also more likely to eat what they grow when they see it in the cafeteria!