One scoop, two scoops, three scoops. A lower elementary student digs and scoops new soil into the garden bed to get ready for this upcoming spring. Ready and eager to participate, students around her get their hands dirty and begin planting new seeds in the healthy soil. Others nearby water and care for full grown plants with a sense of kindness and curiosity that the outside world evokes in a special way. Several children gently pick out weeds and soon decide to go place their new collection in the compost pile. From behind me, I hear a child call out: “Can we pleaseee eat more swiss chard!?”.
What a sight! This is the type of scene you will find in the LMS greenhouse on a regular basis. I have had the privilege of working alongside the children while we plant, grow, harvest, identify and try new foods, and experience the life of a home grown garden. Children discover where food comes from, how it is grown sustainably, and begin to appreciate the hard work it takes to grow nourishing food on a small “farm”. We spend time learning and discussing nutrition, aiming to understand the importance of eating a rainbow of colors. In addition, the middle schoolers take a compassionate look at food insecurity in America and the lack of fresh fruits and veggies for those in need. From toddlers to 8th graders, the farming program allows students at LMS to explore their surroundings, challenge themselves, think deeply, and participate in growing and nurturing new life. The program empowers students to contribute to the wellbeing of their community at LMS while building their own relationship with food and nature.