Back to School (in the Garden) ; Week 1

Updated: Sep 22, 2021

This week of September 13th, it's back to the garden for all K-6 classes at Salt Spring Elementary. Big thanks to Island Savings & the Whole Kids Foundation for funding these activities!

Monday were the Kindergarteners and Grade 1 class. After going over the five garden rules (walk; ask before you eat; don't climb on tables; tell a teacher if you need to leave the garden; and treat everyone, including plants and animals, with kindness and respect in the garden), we played fruit riddles then harvested and tasted raspberries and apples. They liked discovering the star inside the apple and guessing how many varieties of apples are grown on Salt Spring Island (450!). We also planted beautiful flowers in the pots by the school entrance. Then, we played a colour-matching game using paint chips and discovered the mauve popcorn that we grew from a package of organic purple popcorn from Country Grocer!

Tuesday, it was lightly raining. The Grades 1/2 and Grade 2 enjoyed a garden tour, reviewed the rules, discovered and shucked some maroon popcorn, then picked pineapple sage and mint leaves from the herb & pollinator canoe garden. These, they tossed into a hot pot of vanilla-chamomile tea heated on my campstove in the geodesic dome. Under shelter and with steaming jars of herbal tea, they listened to picture books about growing plants, appreciating Nature, caring for ourselves, and making compost stew... These kids are great, and the calming tea helped bring us all together at the end of the day.

Wednesday, we used some of the President's Choice Food Grant to purchase "Garden Vegetable" crackers and some local "Ruckles" Salt Spring Island Goat Cheese for a great activity with the grades 3-4 classes. We made edible flower & herb canapes! After spreading the soft cheese on each cracker, each student was invited to create a decorated snack using edible petals and leaves from the garden. The results were incredible. They found sunflowers, cornflowers, calendula, rosemary, squash blossoms & more.

Thursday, we did the same thing with all four classes of the grades 5-6, which could only visit for 25 minutes each. It was a blast!