The last 2 weeks in the garden with Mrs Cowan and her lovely bunch of kids was such fun.
For the first week we were short of parents which meant that there could be no kitchen. A nudge to all those who think about putting their names down for such things and forget - do it!! They all looked so disappointed when it almost didn't go ahead. Not enough adult supervision in the kitchen with knives and grating and general foody stuff is not the optimum combination. No one wants a finger gyoza right. Urgh!
So in that week we had dads Paul and Tim who were dead keen to do stuff and of course the green warrior goddess Mrs Cowan and after deftly dividing the class up into four groups we were off and digging. The kids proved themselves not only willing but caring. I don't think anything that didn't deserve to be trodden on was and those weeds didn't stand a chance!
In the last two weeks we've planted Beetroots, Red Pak Choy, Eggplant and one Tomato plant. We also found a mysterious self seeded tomato plant growing in amongst the middle bed. Anything like that with initiative is fine with me. Unlike the Chinese Cabbage that was decimated by some furtive grub in the midnight hours - they had to go. Bad for the morale of the beetroots and carrots growing nearby. The garden in general has flourished in the last little while. Must have been all that watering it didn't get over the holidays! The top bed of the three has two very promising rows of baby Carrots and Leeks as well as an abundance of Lettuce. The broad beans are doing well. Tim and the kids strung up some support posts for them that any climber would be jealous of and if they can't make a go of it now, then they don't deserve to be there.
The beloved compost probably got the most attention and care it ever has, again under dad Tim's excellent guidance, and it smells wonderful. The kids really got to see what kinds of things go in there and how the turning all works. It's very interesting to see what we can unearth from the bottom, not least all the various little creatures having a grand time eating themselves silly.
Dad Paul wrangled his own little group in the top garden bed and had them watering, stringing up bean posts and weeding. Even the non vege garden got some attention. The kids were loving their gloves and trowels and of course what kid doesn't love wielding a hose? Or a watering can. In the second week they mulched and enjoyed picking the lettuce, giving it a quick wash and eating it straight from the garden. I wonder how many city kids get to do that..?
Mrs Cowan took tons of great pics and encouraged and guided the kids to really get into it. I think everyone had a really good time and the garden looks pretty happy with itself. In the second week, KC's substitute teacher Alex was great with the kids and knew a thing or two about what should go where.
Kindy kids are very keen in the garden, they love the idea of planting things even if they don't know exactly what vegetable it is. With the help of some wonderful parents - thanks Paul, Tim and Lara - the kids had two lovely days in the sun and dirt. They got to talk about what we're growing, what veges taste like and try their hand at some authentic and important garden care. Hopefully over time they'll get to see the results of their contribution and come to appreciate that it's a wonderful thing to be part of the cycle of the garden.