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“Whose Garden Is It?” Kids: “It’s Our Garden!”

“Whose garden is it?”
Kids: “Our Garden!”

This is near and dear to my heart! It has been such a privilege to spend time with kids and youth in gardens as we learn together how to grow food and try new things.

This year we had some water challenges which gave youth the opportunity to create a solution, rain collection. We also saw children who were afraid of bugs and ‘dirt’ come to life when they planted and watched their seeds bloom and produce flowers and food. Kids shared seeds that they harvested from their garden and shared seeds with neighboring ‘rival’ schools.

Middle schoolers planted herb pots with sweet cards and gave them to a local nursing home facility. Kids started their own gardens at home with their families for the first time and enjoyed fresh produce and some even had enough to share to a local food bank. Students learned about bees, bugs and worms and the roles they play in our ecosystem. They learned about heirloom seeds and how to seed start. They transplanted seedlings and examined the stems and leaves under microscopes to better understand plant adaptations. Kids composted and observed nature for clues on how to grow.

Kids learned how to cook healthy food and some even got their own aprons to encourage home cooking. Thousands of cooking utensils such as colanders, apple cutters, measuring cups, veggie scrubbers and food cutters were given to students thanks to a grant from the Michigan Fitness Foundation. This helped reinforce our cooking and nutrition lessons and we enjoyed giving students gifts!

I think my favorite part of the garden experience is the friendships that were developed as students walked and worked side by side to create something beautiful that they were so proud of.

So, as a volunteer and donor when we ask this question,“Whose garden is it?”

This is the response we want to hear you say: “Our Garden!”

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