We continue our partnership with the Tilth Alliance to deliver quality environmental education in the St. Luke School Garden.
Preschoolers have experienced planting seeds and watching them grow under grow lights and then transferring them into their gardens! They learned about worms and their purpose to healthy soil in the garden. Most were brave enough to hold a worm in the palm of their hand to observe their movements and to learn about the body parts of this important living creature.
Elementary students in 3rd and 4th grade studied the impact of people traveling and that they have brought food seeds and plants with them. Traditional foods are vitally important to immigrant communities. Gardens are an important place for people to come together and share food culture.
For example, they had in depth discussion of the Makah Ozette potatoes, The Makah had named this potato the Ozette after one of their five villages located around Neah Bay. All potatoes originated in South America and it was thought that all potatoes now in the Americas were first taken to Europe by Spaniards before they came to the Americas with the European colonization. The discussion spurred further exploration to what foods are native to our area and which have traveled with people?
Middle school students in 7th grade studied the Industrial Revolution. They carried their studies from the classroom into the garden to deepen their learning. They learned about the invention of the seed drill, the reasons for crop rotation, the cotton gin, reaping machine, steel plows, steam locomotives (which allowed food to be shipped farther and faster) emergence of larger farms and the effect on small farmers. They discussed questions like how did the development of new machines change the way we eat? Did this development provide for more variety in people's diet? How did the Industrial Revolution create a richer middle class? How did diets differ between the rich, middle, and lower classes? Is that true today? Do people at the poverty level have equal access to a variety of food products?
Conversations are fruitful in the garden!