Winter Planting in the Garden of Children’s House

Our New Garden

GardenThanks to a grant from the City of Boulder Health Equity Fund, Children’s House was able to begin on its project of bringing vegetable growing to our front door.  Despite having very little space around our property, we have been able to install 5 raised garden troughs from Farm Tub in Boulder  As the winter has been surprisingly mild, we thought we would see what we can grow before over the winter, before our spring crops go in.

The Garden Committee

The garden committee of 7 children went to plant our winter crop of carrots, beets, Swiss chard and spinach greens.

Together, the committee decided to plant carrots first. 3 children channeled the dirt for our first row. With the help of a yard stick and a smaller ruler, children could plant carrot seeds 1″ apart. The children used fine dexterity to pick individual seeds from the container and place them at the interval marking. While the children were planting, a 5 year old wrote our row marker of “Carrot” to indicate where the row began. A child asked, “How many rows are we doing because I’ll write them all now.” We ended up with two rows of carrots.

Next, the children picked beets. We noticed the difference in seeds between beets, which were round and bumpy, to the small and thin carrot seeds. We also noticed that beets needed more space between their seeds. Children discussed that beets are round and showed with their arms the space they need for round arms. Then they showed carrots, with hands at their sides, needing less space.

Before covering the row, a 4 year old volunteered to write the Beet sign. Another 4 year old chimed in, “We need 2 so I’ll write one too!”

Next, the children decided to plant Swiss chard. Again, we noticed the seeds looked similar to beets but different from carrots. We also discussed that Swiss chard needed less space than beets but more than carrots.

A 3 year old would poke her finger into the dirt to create a little “bed for the seed.” Our 2 year old was an excavator, digging up the dirt in the next bin over, getting ready for “big big seeds”

Children worked on 1-1 correspondence, using a ruler to measure, number/symbol recall, and following instructions given by reading the back of the packet. They also claimed their role in the group and were proud of their help to the school. Children also worked on their pre-literacy skill by looking at the seed packets. They were able to gather information from the packet by connecting their experience with number recall.  With a wide range of skills accessed, there was a role for everyone.