By Ally Bernstein
As YGP’s Spring Education Intern, I’ve been keeping busy. My days are spent teaching garden classrooms with Kaitlin and working in the garden. While I love tending our plants as they grow from seed to sprout, nothing beats gaining a whole new perspective by viewing the Youth Garden through a child’s eyes.
In the past few weeks, I’ve taught (and learned from!) children in kindergarten through third grade. The spring garden classrooms began with the second graders, who learned about the scientific method and planted a radish experiment. We all discovered how important it is to work together when we’re making science experiments and answering questions. You may have even seen the second grade radishes for sale at the last Farmer’s Market!
The first grade class was all about community, and the first graders contributed to the Moab community by helping our gardeners plant lettuce. When we explored the garden, there were more examples of community everywhere– from the aphid, ladybug and spinach community in the hoop house to the bees helping our community by pollinating in the orchard.
The third graders learned all about heat, light and plants by visiting the green house, role-playing the germination of a seed, and making their own terrariums to bring home. It was exciting to see the water cycle occurring in the closed Gatorade-bottle terrariums, which fogged up when the water evaporated and condensed. One student likened the fog to “mini-clouds” in the mini-earth of the terrarium!
Most recently, the kindergarteners visited to discover the garden with their five senses. The Youth Garden has tons of things to smell, taste, hear, see and touch. It was so much fun to slow down and listen to the kids experience all of the little things that make up the spring garden – everyone agreed that the super-soft Lamb’s Ear felt just like a blanket.
This week we have been teaching the sixth grade classes all about micro-organisms and compost, the magical nutrient-packed fertilizer that helps us reduce our waste and enrich our soil.
I’ve been so lucky to work at the Youth Garden Project, helping students engage with what’s growing and make connections between the Moab community, the environment and the food that we eat.
Stop by with your entire family and see what’s growing this summer!