POST BY TAMSIN COBB
Senior Library Assistant and Children’s Programmer
This spring, tweens in our Maker Club got their hands dirty, joyously scooping soil into containers, diligently marking holes, carefully placing seeds down, and meticulously watering to start our 85 Green Learning Garden project. With each new cell they started, the participants eagerly chose the next package to plant, looking at the picture, reading the name, and asking questions like “What is a loofah sponge?”
These seeds not only rooted a course for blooming incredible plants, but also created a space for conversation and connection. As the weeks went on, the tweens came into Maker Club and asked, “Have the plants been watered yet?” Luckily beans grow really quickly, and the kids saw the fruit of their labour early on. They also compared plants and wondered why others weren’t sprouting as quickly.
A corner of the Programming Room was filled with carts of our seedlings, and during one session, a participant asked, “Can we move the tables?” I said yes, thinking they were going to do some more observing, but when I looked back a minute later, two participants had pulled up chairs in front of the carts and sat down to just look at the seed garden and eat their granola bars.
The following week, another participant and I were watering the seeds, and she began to tell me about her grandmother’s garden and how excited she was to see how this garden turned out. We talked about the different things her grandmother had growing in her garden, and I even asked if her grandmother sang to her plants. She said no, but I didn’t tell her that I sang to these plants when I watered them alone. It’s an old thing my own grandmother did.
This garden has become something that we care for and bond over, and I can’t wait to see what else it grows in the summer months.
Here’s what’s been happening in the 85 Green Learning Garden
- existing vegetation and soil in the courtyard beds have been replaced with fresh soil and compost
- We will be planting our seedlings and transplants on Tuesday
- Started seedlings inside for tomatoes, red and green peppers, jalapeno, nasturtium, chilies, and squash, then transplanted them to the courtyard beds
- Purchased: sage, lemon grass, oregano, rosemary, and thyme and planted them
- Sowed beets, spinach, lettuce, chard, parsley, and mint directly into the beds
- One garden will be a Sensory Garden, and the other will be a Rainbow Garden
Children can participate in the Green Thumbs program and work in the garden each week. They’ll get their hands dirty, learn about plants, and journal their gardening discoveries on Monday mornings. Starts July 8th, registration required.
Thanks for following along with the 85 Green Learning Garden. Watch for updates later this summer!