My dream job: growing veggies with kids

In early 2010 I was super lucky to get a job which combines a whole bunch of different things I love to do – grow vegetables, be outside, dig in dirt and work with kids.  I’ve been working part-time as a school garden educator, first at one Toronto school, now at two.   I’ve also had the chance to work at the High Park Children’s Garden during the city-run EcoCamp.  

Last year’s school gardening was a huge learning curve for me and was definitely pretty scattered and chaotic at times.   Among other plans to keep myself more organized, one of the goals of this blog is to force myself to keep better track of what is going on in the garden and when:  When did we seed carrots?  How many potatoes did we plant?  When did we harvest tomatoes and how many?  I hope you enjoy my updates.

I’m constantly amazed by watching plants grow – how quickly that tiny little seedling peeks out of the soil, grows its first true leaves, needs to be transplanted to a bigger pot, and before I know it, is ready to be harvested.  The kids I work with also never cease to amaze me – yes, I’m sure I’ll be surprised by how much many of them have grown since I last saw them last fall!  But moreso, I’m amazed and inspired by their enthusiasm for being outside, their curiosity when discovering all sorts of living critters, their excitement of seeing seeds that they planted grow into beautiful and edible plants… 

And it is amazing to see what the kids will eat if they’ve grown/picked/prepared it themselves.   I was amazed by 8-year olds professing their love for radishes (which I’m just starting to learn to like at the age of 28).  And having a whole grade 2 class taste the salad which they had picked, washed, prepared and made dressing for, and have all but one of them say it was the most delicious salad they’d ever eaten.  And watching a 6-year-old girl, who doesn’t eat anything green, try Tot Soi (an Asian salad green), declare it her favourite and keep asking for more.  And having a 7-year-old boy ask if he could go pick and eat more beans. 

Just some of the highlights of last year’s growing season.  Looking forward to more this year!

I hope you enjoy reading about what’s growing in my gardens and about my adventures of gardening with amazing kids.

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