Harvest week might be over for the kids, but they are still hard at work in the LPE garden. Sara, LPE’s Garden Educator, provides them with excellent lessons in the garden, offering our kids another opportunity for viewing the world. Their time in the garden helps them to recognize the origins of their food. Hopefully this means that they are less likely to forget the source of their veggies and fruit, offering them an appreciation and understanding that, sadly, many children miss out on.
Every classroom at LPE enjoys the garden by exploring it using all five senses. Learning to pause and notice things with your senses is an excellent foundation for approaching life in general. Even the babies that haven’t rolled over yet on their own spend time in the garden. Each baby is laid into a veggie box to enjoy his/her plant and dirt surroundings, along with a perfect view of the sky. Surprisingly, they often look like cabbages that are ready to be harvested. Hmmm…
The older kids are planting the winter crops: broccolini, kale, snap peas, carrots, lettuces, squash, fennel, and some cover crops to help restore nutrients into the soil. Those winter veggies will be enjoyed during snack time just like the summer veggies were. I think we should all show up one day during snack time and have our kids serve us their garden veggie snacks. Yep. Someone send out a calendar invite.
The kids will be releasing ladybugs after the winter garden is in. Hopefully they won’t eat too many of them. I’m sure the ladybugs experience something along the lines of what the people experienced in the King Kong movies. The ladybugs are just trying to enjoy their new home, and then these large little sticky hands are reaching after them. It’s just pure Armageddon for those poor ladybugs. No wonder they fly away to find another garden home.
The cooler weather that SHOULD be around the corner ANY DAY NOW, means that another batch of worms will be donated to LPE for the worm compost condo. Hopefully this batch will thrive and give the kids some good compost for them to learn how to implement into their garden’s soil. Now this is where we could use your help. Worms like to eat certain foods that they then digest and poop out, making worm compost, a nutritious dirt for the plants. I’m sure you know this already, and you’re tired of dealing with poopy diapers from your own kid, so I won’t go into crazy detail regarding worm poop. I’ll just give you an idea of the foods they enjoy that you might be packing in your kid’s lunchbox:
The worms need 50% green matter and 50% brown matter. LPE will worry about the brown matter, and not serving the foods that the worms will turn their noses up at, but with your permission, if the teachers in your kid’s classroom could collect any left-overs from your kid’s lunches for the worms, we’d appreciate it. Just send a message via Brightwheel.
Milli and Kerry mentioned to me how they are looking for half wine barrels that the kids can plant fruit trees in. If anyone has any, please contact them to let them know. They will gladly accept whole wine barrels that are full of wine as well. (To be honest, they didn’t say that. I threw that in there. I’m just guessing that they would accept those full wine barrels. I would accept a full wine barrel, and I don’t even work with kids all day long.)
Dana and I have extra agave plants at home, so we’ll be donating those to LPE. Hopefully the kids will learn how to make tequila in 8 years when they are ready to be harvested. I think we should all brainstorm now on the label for LPE’s tequila. Perhaps the sales from the tequila will offset our daycare costs for one year? Quick! Someone do the math!
Before I end this blog post, I just want to wish all of you parents continued luck with harvest. I’m sure a lot of you work in the wine business, and you’re in the thick of it right now. Dana and I have nothing to do with the wine industry except for dealing with the horrible traffic, but we do enjoy drinking the results! So good luck to you, and we hope your kid(s) sleep through the night so you can get some much needed rest.