For me, there’s nothing more uplifting than meeting children who are excited about growing their own food. So when the Sweetie and I travel, we often google around looking for Edible Schoolyards to visit.
In Phoenix, we really hit pay dirt! Mrs. Molly Roberts, a retired science teacher called back to replace a teacher on pregnancy leave, happily accepted the challenge and went right back to work showing her students at the Lowell Elementary School how to plant a salsa garden.
Mrs. Roberts understands that kids will get excited about gardening when they know they’ll get to taste the results, so the children planted tomatoes, cilantro, onions, and chili peppers. To top it off, they planted some strawberries in order to make strawberry icecream.
The kids planted both sun and shade gardens and make daily log entries to compare how the plants grow differently in the two diverse environments. Mrs. Roberts also uses the garden to teach about how plants grow, how sun affects plant health, why healthy soil is important, and how to be good gardeners. The children also learn the value of composting.
In this clip you’ll see Mrs. Roberts and the children telling you exactly what they’re up to. One of the students shows off the sun garden, and you’ll see how excited all the children are! I’m the one in the background asking all the questions.
In the second clip, one of the students tells you about what she enters into her log. Another shows us the shade garden.
Here’s the principal, Mrs. Rosanna Hidalgo, showing us around the campus, rightfully called La Tierra Buena. Never have I seen a public school with such lovely grounds. And somehow, Mrs. Hidalgo was going to find the time to play basketball with the kids after school let out. As we chatted with her, she said hello by name to every child who passed by. Wish I had a principal like her when I went to Elementary School.