Wrapping up our garden season
We had a great year of sampling food fresh from the garden. One of the first treats we were able to try in the spring was peas. We planted the peas when the ground was still cold and the air was just starting its slow effort to warm up. The peas like the chilly weather however and gave us some delicious pods after a few weeks wait.
We are ending our garden adventures for the year with a final taste test and we are returning to peas once again. This time the peas were planted in shallow containers in the preschool classroom. It turns out you do not have to wait for peas to make pods, you can eat the shoots as soon as they poke out of the ground! They only took a few days to grow tall enough to eat.
We passed the shoots around for everyone to try. Each student patiently waited to taste it. On the count of three everyone crunched their pea shoot in their mouths. A quick poll afterward showed that most of the children gave a thumbs up. There were also a few thumbs down (as usual) but everyone was a great sport about trying it.
Before I left, we talked about how the garden was going to be resting for the winter, and that I would be coming back to ask for their help in the spring. We remembered some of our favorite delights from the season….. lettuce, tomatoes, peppers, carrots, beautiful flowers, and of course peas.
Our taste test program with the Montessori Preschool was very successful this year. We attribute this success to consistency in meeting with the children, making sure each child is included in every activity, keeping lessons short and sweet, and encouraging honesty by reassuring them that it is ok if they don’t like something. Can’t wait to see them again next year!
About the Grantee
The Center for Environmental Transformation (CFET) manages three gardens in Camden. CFET has an innovative youth program that uses urban agriculture to develop young people’s skills and teaches healthy eating. We host service learning retreats focused on the environment and food justice.