Yesterday [April 10] in honor of coming Earth Day, The Nicholson Memorial Library System and Loving Garland Green, representing the Garland Community Garden, partnered to bring a gardening event to children in Garland, Texas.
Andrea Leon, Children's Librarian at Nicholson Memorial Library, and Jane Stroud, board member Loving Garland Green, and I were the official hosts. The event was held outside on the porch of the downtown Nicholson Library.
As always, with my many gardening interactions with the children of Garland, they were great--polite, attentive and intelligent. The age range for this group was 5 to 9. The library is a wonderful place with lots of resources to add to the education of a community. Although books to borrow are its main products, the library offers many more opportunities for fun and learning for people of all ages. For example, in May, Loving Garland Green will be back to the library to lead a container gardening event for adults.
At the event yesterday, the children learned all about peas and container gardening. Some of the takeaways for them from the event included: a two-gallon pot with a month-old pea plant growing in it in addition to three seeds they planted during the event in the pot; a pan to keep it from leaking on the floor when watered; a trellis made of an upside-down tomato cage; a packet of goodies that included a zip-lock bag with snow peas and sugar snap peas; instructions for care of their plant; a pea recipe book prepared by Andrea that included a recipe for pea cookies; a journal for keeping track of their pea plant as it grows also designed by Andrea; an information sheet about the Garland Community Garden.
During the presentation, the children learned they can grow just about any vegetable from a five-gallon bucket--provided it is the right size and has good drainage holes and the soil is properly amended. They were also introduced to books that teach children more about gardening. After they planted their seeds, Andrea passed out stickers of rainbows, butterflies and flowers and the children decorated their pots. It was interesting to see their designs emerge on the pots. Although the children had the same sticker resources to choose from, there was not a design on a pot that was like another--just more evidence for the fact that we each have something unique to bring forth to the world.
It was a great day and once again an honor to interact with the children In our community. In closing, I leave you with this garden riddle:
How is a seed like a book?
Answer: BOTH CONTAIN INFORMATION. The seed provides all the information needed to produce a plant and it is specific to a topic. This is sometimes referred to as genetic coding. For example, a pea seed will never instruct the development of an oak tree. A squash seed will never grow a tomato. The same may be said for a book. It too contains information specific to a topic. You'll never learn how to repair a car by reading a cookbook for making desserts.