The Big Dig

I thought I had a pretty good idea of what it meant to be busy in the spring as a gardener.  I didn’t, but I’m pretty sure that now I do.  The last few weeks have been CRAZY!  (Leading to a very neglected blog, as well as some serious neglect of my garden at home – at least I haven’t had to worry about watering stuff outside, with all of the rain we’ve been having.)

Anyway, the new school garden finally got dug over a couple of days during the first week of May.  The weather was super cooperative on those days – it was (finally) sunny and the soil was still moist, but definitely not wet.  On the first day, I had 4 classes come out and dig, all of which were kindergarten to grade 2.  It’s amazing how long a trowel and some soil can keep little kids entertained.  I thought I’d have to switch their activity after 10-15 minutes and have them do something else, but they were all just so into the digging that we had them keep doing that.  They were great at getting rid of lumps in the soil and at pulling out weeds.  The next digging day I had some older grades as well, so we got a bunch of work done with carrying the compost over from a big pile in front of the school to the garden.

So during dig-week, we transformed this:

 

                    Into this:

Isn't it looking more like a garden now?

The kids and teachers were overall super excited about the garden and about digging and super excited about worms (more on that later)!  Some of the highlight quotes from students included:  “We’ve been doing all this perimeter stuff in math class, and now I finally understand why!” and “THIS is a great way to end the day!”  It’s so great to see the kids making curriculum connections without any prompting – such a great example of how effective hands-on learning can be.  And so rewarding to see the kids enjoying the gardening!

Last week we also had some parents help to add the mulch for the paths, so after that the garden looked like this:

Ready for planting!

Happy growing!

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