After five days of sunshine in a row, we in Michigan, are all “Thinking Spring”! The timing could not have been more perfect for me to play in the dirt today with 22 third graders. I love gardening with and teaching gardening to children for three reasons:
1. They are not afraid to totally immerse themselves in the subject by becoming completely filthy. They do this consciously and without hesitation. I’ve yet to hear a complaint.
2. Because they are having such a blast doing #1, they unconsciously soak up the science.
3. They are not too busy to stop and take note of Mother Nature’s miracles. Whether it is a tiny bright green bud of new growth or a creepy crawly bug. They are little. They are curious. And, they notice.
In the fall, Teddy, my youngest daughter, brought into her classroom an elephant ear (alocacia) bulb and a geranium (pelargonium) plant in two brown lunch bags. (Fancy and super high tech, I know!) Most people don’t realize that geraniums can be overwintered. And, if it wasn’t for my husband’s chatty shoe salesman, I wouldn’t have known either.
Here’s how easy it is…
1. Remove all soil from bulb/plant roots.
2. Put bulb/plant in fancy brown lunch bags (Teddy decorated hers) in a dark and cool cabinet.
3. Completely forget about them for 3-4 months.
4. Place bulb/plant in soil as in photo above.
5. Trick bulb/plant into thinking that Spring is here! (moisture, warmth>60*, and sunlight)
6. Watch the miracle as the bulb/plant emerge out of dormancy.
A few years ago I was flying into Los Angeles looking out the window as we were landing. Instead of feeling the excitement of my pending vacation, my heart sank as I looked down at the concrete and buildings…everywhere. “What did we do?” ran through my head as my throat tightened and eyes welled.
We only have one planet.
These children are the future stewards of this one planet. They have to fix what “we” did. This is why I teach children about plants. And, This is why we all need to Plant Good Seeds.
Reading The Giving Garden to Teddy’s Class