St. Mark”s in-the-Valley Episcopal Preschool in Los Olivos, California was fortunate to receive a grant from the NAES Outreach Program. These funds allowed us to enhance our curriculum and playground with 3 beautiful raised garden beds.
In September our work began, first to fill the beds with soil, second to sow a variety of seeds (vegetables, flowers, herbs), third to water and keep the weeds at bay and fourth to have the patience to wait for something glorious to grow. Blessed with California sunshine, it wasn’t long before our patience and care were met with an array of seedlings poking through the soil.
Our story is not all perfect….as all good gardners know pests do test their skills and hinder the hope for harvest. Sadly our vegetables and herbs were overtaken by cutworms. However, we did take the opportunity to research the dastardly cutworm and learned how to hopefully avoid their destruction next year. Happily, as you can see by the photograph, our flowers did bloom and offer much beauty to our preschool play yard. (As hoped for we were even able to prepare a flower bouquet for our church chapel.)
This gardening project has enhanced numerous curriculum themes this year and will continue to do so. (It was a particular blessing due to COVID -19’s presence – allowing us to take our learning environment outside.) Soon we will introduce our soon to be born butterflies to our garden and next year we hope to harvest a pumpkin or two for next Halloween. Best of all our students are learning that the earth’s gifts are plentiful and it is our job to take care of the earth, love the earth and give thanks to God for our earth.
Thank you NAES Outreach for this opportunity in learning.