Welcome Back to the Glenfeliz Garden!
Welcome back to the garden! Technical difficulties have kept us off the blog, but we are back and three weeks into our exploration of the relationships between plants and our bodies. Because many of the students are now veterans of the Glenfeliz Garden, we are working to deeper explore the content they may have covered in years past while introducing our new gardeners to the basic concepts that will help develop their attachment to the beautiful space we care for together.
In week one, each class worked collaboratively to build up a set of rules and expectations for the way we would treat the space and treat each other through the course of our time learning in the garden. With these goals and guidelines set in place, we were able to explore and/or reacquaint ourselves with the garden and eat some tasty hummus mixed with fresh chopped green onion that we picked.
In our second week we started the real work, teaching students how the various parts of the plant work to help the plant grow. We discussed what plants ‘eat’ or ‘drink’ in order to be healthy and sustain themselves. With the more seasoned students, we investigated the different types of soil structures we might find in our garden and how plants growing near each other can either compete or work together symbiotically to ensure their growth. Each student got to plant a seed as we fill in our beds with new fall plants!
In week three, we transitioned from what plants need for food to how we use plants as our own food. In this nutrition-focused lesson, students became familiar with the primary food groups and what each type of food provides for our body, focusing on balancing our diets to ensure our good health. To reinforce this, students walked around to various garden beds and, using the produce that we saw growing, created a full, balanced meal that incorporated fresh veggies and fruits, grains, protein, dairy, fats and sugars. One class decided that for breakfast they would have corn grits and sautéed kale with garlic and onions, and to drink a big basil and sweet melon smoothie – all of this from our garden bed! For some dairy and protein they wanted to put some cheese in their grits and eat it all with a soft-boiled egg – very yummy!
In the coming weeks we will begin to focus more on the structure of the food system in the US and how small gardens can play an important role as sustainable food sources. I’ll update you soon!
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