It’s All About the Spuds!

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Owen shows off a purple potato. As Owen says “They are tricky to find”.

Truly, there is nothing quite like the excitement of digging up potatoes! Each one is like a found treasure! The moment of seeing the skin, the brushing aside of the moist soil to reveal its beauty, the careful digging around its shape so as not to cut into its flesh, and the removal of the potato from its home for the last 6 months, is an entirely wonderful experience. Here are some moments from the garden.

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Only one of many potatoes harvests.

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William patiently digs all around himself in the garden until suddenly he spots a potato.

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Although it would be much easier to carry the potato by hand to the bucket, Keaton prefers the challenge of balancing it on his trowel. It is interesting that children often create challenges for themselves, rather than taking the easy way out.

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Pearson quietly digs up a potato without fanfare. I love how each child reacts in their own way to the same event.

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It is a tight squeeze in this garden space. Learning to work together in a small space is challenging, especially with soil and trowels!

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Damian is trying to carefully back up, without stepping on his friends, the potatoes or the garden edging; this is good work for developing coordination and balance. Ezra reaches out, inviting Damian to pass the potato to him.

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First stop on the potato list- mashed potatoes! Working in small groups allows for quiet work and an opportunity to share information. Children learn the names of ingredients, their smell and taste and then practice their fine motor skills.

This week the students from Northwest Culinary Academy had their classes at the farm with Ian Lai, experiencing hands-on learning about the Farm to Table philosophy. Knowing how much learning takes place around community partnerships, we paired them up with our Eagles classes for some gardening and cooking. The Eagle students were brave as they reached out to these unfamiliar faces! We were so impressed with the our Nature School kids and very grateful for the warmth and careful attention provided by the culinary students.

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Alisha and Bianca enjoy digging in the garden with Hannah as they listen intently to her stories!

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Sheena and Nell spend time getting to know one another while weeding the beds. Weeding is tricky work, deciphering newly growing vegetables can be a challenge.

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Tess and Ella turn soil looking for worms. It is often easier to talk to a new person when we have a task. The coming together of different generations is so valuable.

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Sensing Ian’s slight hesitation about jumping into this activity, Tim kindly guides Ian and Mason into digging in the soil. His gentle and respectful way supported our Nature School friends through their shyness.

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Kimee gives Tyler a High 5 for working together. As we know, positive feedback is so important for healthy emotional development. The simple gesture of a High 5 sends an important message that leads to self-confidence.

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Kaya, Damon and Amanda harvest kale to make a salad for lunch. Amanda spends time discussing the different types of kale and laughs at the Nature School children’s adorable tales!

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Clayton takes this ‘teachable moment’ very seriously as he imparts lots and lots of knowledge to the children in his group. From showing his entire knife set to learning about how to make a caesar salad dressing from scratch to black garlic, Clayton makes sure he has it all covered!

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Caitlin leads her group with a calm and joyful manner. Upon greeting them, she makes an effort to use their names. This small gesture is much appreciated! It shows caring and thoughtfulness.

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The Pizza Crew standing in front of the Cobb oven. Needless to say, the pizzas are scrumptious! 

Other activities during the week…

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Andy helps Ludwig up the hill. Giving children an opportunity to be a mentor for others is good for their self- esteem and decision making processes.

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The Owl group is beginning to ease into our daily routines, including eating snack outside at the Healing Garden tables.

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Miles and Damon help Tyler put his boots back on. Changing gear is lots of work and it is helpful when friends help each other. The pod offers many chances for children to develop their leadership skills.

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Elsa and Keaton enjoy what Nature School is about- free time exploring in a a grassy field!

‘Till the next post,

Emily