Edible Peace Patch Blogs

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Thursday, October 30, 2014

Lakewood Elementary Service Day!


Join us in spending the morning in our Lakewood Elementary schoolyard garden. The Junior League of St. Pete will be lending a big helping hand for this Service Day!
Saturday November 15th 2014 9AM-1PM
We take this time to catch up on garden maintenance and to finish larger projects so that our gardens are ready for the students who come out weekly to learn and explore.
Morning refreshments are provided.
Bring along your family, friends, and your gardening tools!
p.s. Bring along your compost-ables to donate to our compost bins(veggie and fruit scraps, oak leaves, coffee grounds, tea bags, BUT NO MEAT or DAIRY, please)!
Visit peacepatch.org for more info about our project.
Follow us on Facebook and Twitter!
Keep an eye out for the addition of November and December service days!

Thursday, October 23, 2014

A sprouting garden and bugs!

Today at Melrose Elementary School it was bug day! The kids loved looking around and trying to find different types of insects and trying to figure out what kind of bug it was! Although we did find mostly ladybugs, which the kids loved passing around!

Not only did the kids love searching the plants for bugs, but they also just loved seeing everything that had grown since the previous week! The garden was full with kale, purple okra, peppers and so much more! The kids kept begging to try the different leaves and loved finding out the names of these new veggies! 


The garden has grown so much and is filled with such beautiful smells! Today was a great day and I can't wait to see how much more the garden grows and how the kids will react to the growth!

Peace, Sam!

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Seeds and Sunshine!

It was a beautiful day out at Melrose this Thursday! We taught the 1st graders about the structure of a plant and boy did they love that! Not only did they love getting to look at all of the different types of plants and pointing out the different parts, we also allowed them to plant some seeds to grow their own plants!

The kids were so excited that these seeds would be their own and that they each got to individually plant them! They planted some acorn squash and the kids kept asking for more seeds and asking if they could take some home to plant at their houses! It amazes me how excited kids can get when they are helping to take care of something, even if it is just one acorn squash!

Everything else in the garden is also coming along beautifully! The kids loved trying to figure out what the different plants are and were so surprised that you can find most of it in the foods you eat on a regular basis! We have tons of oregano, okra, basil and beans sprouting up and the kids can't wait to try everything! 

Peace out, Sam!

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

I've never worked with kids before, and none of my gardens have ever survived longer than a season. That being said, gardening with the kids at Melrose is more than just an adventure--it's a challenge. The idea of not only supervising 7- or 8-year-olds but also teaching them was totally out of my comfort zone, yet the cause is near and dear to my heart.
Food is a passion that I think everyone should share, especially making wise choices about food. The kids at Melrose Elementary are live in a food desert, with nothing but gas stations and quick-stops in the neighborhood. Many of them probably don't have easy access to fresh produce, and may have little idea what that actually is. By gardening with them, all I want is to get them interested, or even just more familiar with vegetables. There's more than just apple slices and carrot sticks waiting for them in the garden.
The first thing that I asked my little group of kids was what their favorite food was. They were on to me from the start, and knew that I was looking for fruit or veggie answers. They named off corn, apples, carrots, etc. Some of them hesitated before just repeating one of the last answers.
Once we got into the garden, however, their palates seemed to unconsciously expand. As soon as they found anything that looked edible, they would ask if they were allowed to eat it--before even asking what it was.
The effort it took to keep them from stripping every basil leaf, every unripe pepper from the plants was incredible. The novelty of something being ready to eat off the stem (though not much of the garden actually is) just drove them crazy, to put it bluntly.
By the time they had left, my team and I tiredly picked up bits of half-eaten peppers and pea pods that had been sneaked when we weren't looking. We couldn't really be mad. I mean, they're eating their vegetables, aren't they?

Love and peas,

A new year of garden education is here!

On Friday we had the pleasure of hanging out with two second grade classes taught by Mrs. McDonald and Mrs. Furse. The students remembered their USFSP and Eckerd College team leaders from last week and seemed very excited to have us back at Melrose.

We were able to get through the whole lesson about seeds in our small groups and students were very intrigued by the different sizes, shapes, and textures of the seeds. Many of the kids were able to guess what seeds need to grow (sunlight, space, air, water, soil-- in most cases), that they are living things, and some were even able to guess which of the seeds they held would in time grow into marigolds, purple beans, and acorn squash!

The kids absolutely loved "raking" the soil in the grow boxes and then poking holes with their fingers to plant their seeds. They were very controlled when it came time to water their personal plants: they stood in a line and very carefully, one by one, tipped the watering can slightly over the edge of the boxes until the soil was lightly saturated. They definitely understood that overwatering could kill their seeds and took this part of the lesson very seriously without instruction.

At the end of our time together we had them guess what the upcoming lesson could possibly be about and elementary and college students seemed equally excited to return this Friday for the parts of the plant!