Learning for a Sustainable Future
Many of our students come from homes where the individuals do not garden. Most of our students have not experienced eating vegetables fresh to the table from the garden. We are hoping that by interesting students in the garden and by inviting their parents to help us with the project that we will inspire healthy eating habits as well as an interest in working outdoors in nature. A secondary interest is in connecting students to their culture by teaching them different methods of preservation. While eating vegetables when they are only hours old is one experience, another important experience is learning how to cook and preserve food so that it can be used later. The food prepared by students will be saved for use at our school feast. Parents, family and community members will have a chance to sample some of the food prepared by the students. We will also keep a photo record of the project so that students can share their learning story with their families.
The purpose of the LSF project was to teach students how to maintain a school garden then to preserve the foods that were grown in the garden. Students engaged in fall planting of garlic and perennial herbs as well as spring planting of potatoes. Students also engaged in composting their leftover fruits and vegetables in their classrooms so that they could amend the garden soil in an environmentally friendly way. We had planned on picking and drying herbs from the garden in Fall 2020 as well as through wild crafting in Spring 2020. Unfortunately, due to COVID 19 we were unable to complete these
targets although we did purchase the resources (canning pot/utensils and drying rack) so that we can plan for this next year. We were able to harvest the vegetables in Fall 2020. Because of COVID restrictions, we were unable to cook in the school therefore the vegetables were sent home with students. Herbs that were picked were placed in the curing rack to dry for later projects.
Reflection & Celebration
Although the students were in quarantine for part of the project, the staff was able to cure the herbs taken from the garden. Tomatoes and peppers were also harvested by staff and used to make spaghetti sauce as gifts for the student learning feast in Spring 2021. When students returned to school in Fall 2020, some of the herbs were distributed to the students to study and to practice mindful observation. Students smelled and tasted the herbs then used their observations for informal journal entries. Some of the dried herbs were saved so that students could share them as gifts to their families at the spring learning feast which is taking place on May 19, 2021. Other dried herbs were used as additives in the cold press soap making workshops that were held after school in April, May, June of 2021. Vegetables that were harvested from the garden were sent home with students to share with their families. Some students had never seen spaghetti squash before or cabbages.