Although there is still a nip in the air and snow on the ground, the classes working in our greenhouses are anticipating spring! Several of our plants have been left to set seed for next year, including radishes and lettuce. Even in the depths of winter we were able to sell some of our beautiful rainbow chard at the Hand and Hoe, bringing in $50 to support our farm and garden programming.
While academic skills are practiced in a very concrete way within the garden - counting, measuring, and so forth, it is also important to highlight some of the other capacities we nourish in this setting; forward-thinking, confidence, and hope. Some of the students have begun to think ahead a couple of seasons in order to prepare for what is coming in the future in our gardening curriculum. This term, the High School verse speaks of the hope that comes from performing tasks with a vision in mind. They can ground this in the reality of having grown almost 100% of our crops this year from our own seed. The students feel a sense of assuredness and confidence in watching this years' plants send up tall stalks destined to flower and set seed. Growing food for the community gives us hope as we watch the cycle of nature in the turning seasons and see dinner plates brightly colored with food we have grown all throughout the year.
There are many other things that students are looking forward to on the farm as well. Flats are being filled with soil for seeding brightly colored flowers such as cosmos, zinnias, and sunflowers. Young lettuces and herbs are sprouting, and the earth's gradual thaw is allowing us to plant grassy walkways for summer strolls amongst the flowers. Of course, we are all excitedly anticipating Otis' arrival later this Spring and have been preparing the space for him. The riding ring is being cleared of rocks and debris, the stable is cleared, a proper floor of mats laid down, and stalls are being built in the coming weeks!