Planning Meets Reality

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Scattered Seeds

Scattered Seeds

I am pretty thrilled with our inaugural Dirt to Dinner class. We had twelve kids and twelve adults. And it didn’t rain! Everybody met new people, everybody planted some seeds, everybody cooked part of our lunch and there was plenty of good food to go around.

Here’s what we thought we would do and a little bit about how it actualy went.

Class plan:

a)  Welcome circle and Intros (personal and intro to the program)  

We all got to know one another’s names and talked about our favorite vegetables or fruits.

b)  Safety, boundaries and behavior goals

We spent some time on safety in the garden and in the kitchen but we will probably want to go over Gary Riekes’ thoughts on behavior goals a little bit more when we have a chance. Though the kids seemed to get along very well all day without it.

c)  Ice breakers

We played a game where you form small groups based around the individuals in the larger group who have a particular characteristic or have done a certain thing (“Have you ever eaten a worm?”) You introduce yourself, again, to the members of the small group as they form, so you learn something about one another and get a chance to remember everyone’s name while you play.

d)  Plant parts activity

Plants Part Costume Model

Plants Part Costume Model

Seeing the first part of the plant parts “costume” going on reminded me to run for the camera. This was an exercise I’m willing to bet they won’t soon forget!

Then the kids did a Plant Parts Scavenger hunt through what’s already growing in the garden to see if they could find edible roots, stems, leaves and flowers. We found carrots and radishes, celery and onions, kale and collards, lemons, nectarine flowers, rosemary blooms and artichokes.

Many of these were passed around so that whoever wanted to could nibble on them. It’s a good thing celery loves that back garden because the kids got a kick out of picking it and nibbling on it right there.

e)  Group A Plant Parts scavenger hunt and Seed Starting
and Group B Kitchen Intro and Favorite Veggies

Soffrito with onion and garlic

Soffrito with onion and garlic

One group of families started out in the kitchen where they did a wonderfully focused job preparing two pots of Garden Vegetable Soup, one by the recipe, and one with a few additions based on what we had on hand from the garden and families bringing their favorite vegetables to share. The soup started with a nice soffrito (or roux, depending on where you are from) of several kinds of onions and garlic in olive oil.

f)   Group A Kitchen Intro and Favorite Veggies
Group B Plant Parts scavenger hunt and Seed Starting


Flower Starts

Flower Starts

The families who started at the potting station planted a variety of flowers and Spring vegetables. We have seeds for many different kinds of flowers that are favorites of bees, hummingbirds or butterflys. The group is already drawing up plans for special planting areas devoted to pollinators. We also planted peas, spinach, lettuce and early beans and picked out a spot to grow carrots, radishes, and other Spring vegetables that need to be direct seeded into the ground.



Watering In Seeds

Watering In Seeds

The seeds were watered in and the kids took them home to germinate in a warm place.


g)  Lunch

The soup was delicious! It was served with a chopped salad and good bread and lots of the kids actually ate it. :-) The dish washing plan with three different dishpans with soapy water, rinse water with lemon and clear rinse water worked very well. 

h)  Rain Measures/Journal decoration

We didn’t cover rain measures today, but some of the kids worked on decorating the covers of their journals a bit while the finsihing touches were being added to lunch. 

i) Closing circle, intentions, thoughts on the day

We all said something about our favorite part of the day. I heard everything from “Food!” to “Growing community” to “The way everybody put in a little bit of something to make the soup come together.” I also heard one very proud voice sharing that the highlight of the day was climbing to the top of the play structure, which reminded me that we all take different paths to the garden. :-)

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