Reflections on 2020 Kidston garden summer/ fall season 2020
Back in the spring, grade five garden champion teacher Charlene O’Brien and I decided, in spite of the uncertainty at the time, we would plant a garden. With unleashed enthusiasm along with students, we planted, thinned, harvested AND built. Charlene’s dad (along with students) built three beautiful trellises. In our favour we had many volunteer plants such as bok choy, sunflowers and lettuces reseed and surprised us with abundance. Students thoroughly enjoyed munching on sweet and crunchy bok choy, lettuce, kale and a surprisingly zesty curly peppergrass for those adventures tasters.
The silver lining of these times: During the last two weeks in June, Gramma D offered to take each class out for a garden tour. As class sizes were small we were able to do tours with entire classes at a time; eighteen tours in all. We learned to identify plants, talk about self-seeding and pollinators and sample the garden’s offerings. How exciting it was for students to be able to harvest their own salad to take home for their families. One student asked for more bags so he could share them with everyone in his extended family.
Families met at the garden over the summer for harvest and maintenance. All were welcome to participate either on their own timeframe or join up with Gramma D for a guided garden session. It’s a wonderful way to keep positive connections with students and school. Community members often come through and admire our garden. One person said she comes through every day and talks to the flowers. It is often expressed “it is so beautiful”. A couple of special moments have been observing the yellow finches congregating on the large sunflower heads. Another most special time is meeting a new Kidston friend who became a regular visitor and
student of the garden.
She was lucky enough to show up on garlic harvesting day. “Now I don’t have to go to the store and buy garlic.”
The fall season offers many learning opportunities; the potato harvest being one of them and
the return of our famous baked fries- made by students.
And then we have seeds to save- for another season; which in itself is truly fascinating.
- Dawn Guenette (Gramma D)