One of our local elementary schools-Daisy Ingraham in Westbrook- is embracing the Healthy Choices-Healthy Kids Initiative, a Westbrook Early Learning Links program. To help facilitate the growing concept of healthy changes we're putting a Tower Garden in the cafeteria. Here the kids can be involved in growing their own good health, harvesting the fruits of their labor and having a hands-on experience in understanding where food comes from.
We planted seeds in rock wool with two of the second grade classes. They'll be growing an assortment of lettuces, spinach, cauliflower and parsley to start.
The activity raised many questions from the young inquiring minds;
Where should we put these while we wait for them to sprout? How long will it take? How does the Tower Garden work? When can we put these into the Tower Garden? How many seeds should we plant in our rock wool cube?
And it opened up a vocabulary discussion; Do you know what germinate means? How many of you garden? And do you garden in the dirt? Interestingly two of the students 'grow in water.' Which led us to discussion of hydroponics and aquaponics. They were fascinated, eager and insightful.
A few days later we set the Tower Garden up in the cafeteria. Because we planted seeds with just two of the classes most of the kids had no idea what we were up to. This spawned more intrigue and questions. So we asked them; "What do you think this is?" Their answers were priceless. Here are the top 10 answers they gave. Number 7 is my favorite.
1.Giant bird feeder / apartment
5. Night light
6. Chocolate fountain
7. Leprechaun catcher
8.Ice cream cone holder
9. Flag holder
Soon the seeds will germinate and we will plant the seedlings in the Tower Garden. All of the students will participate in growing good health and harvesting nutritious whole food. Stay tuned.