As the end of Daylight-Savings Time quickly approaches, our weekly Friday morning meetings have become increasingly dark and cool. This morning, the crew huddled under a big tree while the rain battered down on our garden. The purple skies were just beginning to lighten up by the time our meeting was over, but the rain continued. Everyone seems to feel like the kids are truly soaking in our lessons on recycling and composting, regardless of the intense excitement of being outside!
The garden is looking as green and lush as ever. I was amazed to see so many flourishing cilantro plants in the herb garden, in addition to the rapidly climbing pole beans and flowering okra! We have some green tomatoes plumping up on the vine and a city of sweet potatoes, I'm sure, beneath the soil. The radishes have been harvested and the lettuces and beets are looking beautiful. I remember the carrots in my garden at home as a favorite munching spot for swallowtail caterpillars, so I wonder if we'll have any here as well. Next week, the kids will learn about bugs (a particularly exciting topic in the realm of kindergarten and first grade minds).
Since it was still raining at the conclusion of our meeting and there was no mulch to spread, we duct-taped a quick fix on the welcome trellis and headed out to breakfast for some team bonding time. Unfortunately our class was cancelled due to the weather, but it presented a great opportunity for the girls and I to get to know each other over hot tea and grits at Munch's. We all agreed that the hands-on experience in the garden, working with both the plants and the elementary students, is incredibly gratifying. In addition to the environment-related courses that are amping everyone up just before registration time, we are all staying involved in the garden next semester. The continuation of active learning in the field will not only be educational in the fields of agriculture and leadership, but it will also serve as a working model for building a stronger local community in St. Petersburg.