You’ve probably seen extra vans parked in our lot these past two weeks, and plenty of ladders and equipment strewn in different parts of the school. At last, our new fire surveillance panel has been installed, and the final details are being worked out. It feels great to have this upgrade behind us. We received a message this week that our engraved bricks are finished and ready for pickup. Arrangements have been made to have our tiles installed, whenever the timing is right. Our new climbing structure is scheduled for production in the late spring, which will hopefully happen before the end of our school year. Things are falling into place. With all these projects going on, it’s easy to be swept up into this level of the school’s operation.
The toddlers offer a steady stream of direct links back to the present moment, and to the bottom line of what our work is all about. Amidst conversations about all the many projects, I had to go outside to take care of something. Walking by the toddler playground I noticed a couple of our youngest seeds chomping on freshly harvested carrots. They were carrots their class had planted, watered, and nurtured for the past several months. I loved that they were enjoying their harvest, and was even more delighted that, in addition to carrots, we have a new crop of gardeners in the making.
Teaching children how to grow their own food and how to be responsible for the care of growing food is one of the most important parts of our curriculum. This process helps children learn how much effort it takes to grow food, and also inspires them to try new foods that they might otherwise not be interested in trying. Gardening deepens children’s connection to the earth, and teaches patience for waiting till a food is ready to harvest and eat. This time of year brings abundance with garden vegetables as classes harvest their crops and enjoy food celebrations, such as the Preschool 4s’ recent meal of beet risotto and roasted carrots. We anticipate that other classes will culminate their gardening experience this year with similar cooking or salad making projects.
The many projects we work on administratively keep the school alive and well on many levels. It’s work that is not often visible or known by most people involved with the Seed’s day to day operation. They make it possible for toddlers to learn about growing carrots, and other parts of the program that make the Seed such a special place. It’s like tending a garden, keeping an eye on the various elements so they’ll reach their full potential.