School Garden: Kids with Spades

So the school garden. There’s been a lot going on there since I last posted about my involvement there. As with most things connected to the school, you attempt to dip your toe in the water and by accident you fall in. That’s what happened here.

I’m now running the school garden (ha! who saw that one coming?) since the lady who had been running it retired about 3 months after I showed up. Sneaky.

So, yeah. I’m the person who assigns the plots, orders the gravel, tries to get community gardeners and teachers working together, organizes weeding parties and makes sure that the whole thing is tickety-boo. Easy, right?

Actually, up to now it has gone without hiccup. But there’s time yet. I’ll update you when someone goes spectacularly wrong.

In the meantime those 2nd graders have been champing at the bit to get some ‘real’ gardening done. Since it’s been so wet here I’ve been forcing them to do ‘worthy’ activities like recording the soil and air temperature – their little frozen hands clutching their frozen pencils and icicle clipboards. It was all very sad!

But now, well, now it’s March and that’s when the real gardening happens. According to them anyway. So I thought it was high time I gave them some tools and asked them to get some of this digging done.

We have four plots at our disposal (two for each class). And back in October we had sowed some cover crop of Crimson Clover. Now, the Clover is about a foot high and starting to flop over the sides of the raised bed. Time for some choppy-chop.

In the school garden shed there are some very cute kid spades (or shovels as they will have it here). I took the class out in groups of six, showed them the cover crop and handed them a spade. I might as well have just handed them a family-sized bag of Skittles. Their faces lit up with little evil grins and they set to it.

What they did to that cover crop in 5 minutes I estimate it would have taken me half an hour. No kidding. They went cray-cray.

Even the kids that are normally ‘meh’ about gardening were jumping on the their spades and digging for England. It was ace.

Coats were thrown on the floor, holes were dug, filled in and then dug again. When I said that time was up and it’s time for the next group there were groans, and shouts of ‘nooo!’

It was all quite satisfying.



Above: Digging



Above: More digging


Above: We all love digging

3 Comments on “School Garden: Kids with Spades

  1. It’s so great for you to lend your talents to this project! Spades and shovels are two different things. Spade is the longer, rectangular blade and a shovel is a wider, broader blade. Anyone using the words interchangeably just needs to be shown the difference. Maybe you could do a lesson on all the tools and their uses?