How Does Your Garden Grow?

SUBMITTED BY: Tula Reid, Riverside Elementary

Plant, grow, eat, and share – this is the Little Green Thumbs model that became one of the first classroom discussions when introducing the garden back in November 2016. Riverside Elementary is proud to announce that they have two gardens located in the school. One in Kindergarten and one in the Grade 2/3 split class. The students were intrigued and excited about the idea of a garden. They had many questions and continue to ask questions as the garden grows bigger and bigger. The students wondered what food they would grow, how long would it take to grow, and how would it grow without the sun?

Students took a pledge to plant the seed, to provide the necessary components for the plant to grow, to eat the final product and to share what they have learned with their community. Each student used their thumb print and sealed the pledge in their Little Green Thumbs journals.

The garden is designed to grow plants indoors and it comes equipped with four planters, seeds, soil, fertilizer, a lighting system and pods. Initially, students planted tomato and cucumber seeds, and we saw germination in only six days! It’s safe to say, the sixth day was an exciting one in Kindergarten! However, we did run into trouble. We had a snow day and could not water the seedlings, causing them to dry up. It was a learning curve for many, we realized just how important water is to plants. The Kindergartens were determined to start over, so they planted more seeds and this time they flourished!

We currently have four large planters with tomato, cucumber, basil and lettuce. One of our tomato plants has approximately 50 tomatoes. We are waiting for them to turn red so we can taste them!
Not only is this program fostering responsibility in such young students, but it is also encouraging children to eat foods that they might never taste otherwise. ,Many parents were shocked and surprised that their children tasted the lettuce! They were eating it like rabbits!

In the Spring, Riverside Elementary will host a Harvest Fest where we will invite family and sponsors to join us in celebrating our gardens. On behalf of the students and teachers associated with Little Green Thumbs, we encourage you to begin to ask questions about where your food comes from. Think about ways to start your own garden. You can start small, a head of lettuce and green onion can grow in a glass of water on your window ledge! Plant, Grow, Eat and Share!

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