One of the favorite things I have learned with our move to Wyoming is the wisdom from new friends. I love flowers and for most of my adult life have grown flowers and a few herbs to include in my meals.
I remember one Texas neighbor asking if I was growing any food and as I looked around my garden all I saw was flowers. Flowers feed my soul, so yes I guess I was growing food - soul food.
Yesterday, a friend and I launched our gardening block for our children’s learning community. A community brought together by a need to allow our children to experience learning together in a group and also have time to learn through play. We are all homeschooling families who were looking for more. Our class is our evolving answer.
Watching the children intuitively know what to do, being gentle with the seed potatoes, listening intently to our resident garden queen, my friend Jody, was more than just another thing to check off a curriculum checklist. It was a nourishing act of teaching and learning.
We began by reciting the poem Seeds by Molly De Havas, from The Waldorf Book of Poetry. As the children followed the rhythm of the words and read out loud together, they began to form the living breathing connections of learning together.
I told stories of the Irish Potato Famine, the latest discovery in Utah of the Four Corners Potato, and how the famine brought my great-grandmother to America. We talked about biodiversity and how that would prevent famine from happening again.
The group of children ranged in age from 4-10, and they all began to understand how important it is to nurture the ground that will feed you.
Our lesson was about potatoes, but it was more than that. It planted the seed of paying attention, nurturing the earth that will feed us, and had them asking when the next class would be.
The book Growing Sustainable Children, A Garden Teacher’s Guide was a five-year project of writing down the unique way author Ronnie Sands leads children of all ages through the experience of gardening.
It will teach you, the teacher, to create activities that support child development and guide your self-development. Our class was children, but it was observed by parents who were as drawn into the process as their children - perhaps more so.
Growing Sustainable Children: A Garden Teacher's Guide is a method to bring communities together while supporting the connection between humans and the earth that feed not only our bodies but also our souls.