Our Outdoor Learning Center garden is currently growing pumpkins! The students planted the seeds in March from their store-bought pumpkins they carved in October. When they return mid-August, they will see the fruits of their labor and taste them when they are ready to harvest.
Planting pumpkin seeds and seeds for lettuce was part of our Project Based Learning during the Spring. Plus, we released 300 ladybugs to tend to the garden and there were squeals of delight as the children watched them “work” the garden.
Throughout the year, there are vegetables or herbs growing in the garden. The children become excited that they get to taste what they have watered and grown. Specific herbs were grown for a life science unit which were then added to a pizza. Our cafeteria staff used fresh basil, parsley, and oregano when they baked it. Some children were hesitant about tasting, but tried them anyway and discovered they liked it. As they were chewing, one could hear the “Mmm.” Meanwhile, a few said, “No, thank you.”
With the garden, it provides experiences the children can manage and wondering questions arise, along with many observations and expanded vocabulary. They have the opportunity to make a difference in our world.