Friday, December 9, 2016

Garden Revitalization & Outdoor Learning

Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it's the only thing that ever has.
(Margaret Mead)

If you follow along with me on Instagram, you may recall seeing that at the end of September, we were quite shocked and disappointed to find that our community garden had been completely demolished.
The worst part of the whole scenario is that the damage and destruction was carried out by the very Public Authority tasked with maintaining garden spaces in the country.
But, I'm happy to say, we fought back and with the support of the community through donations and the hard work of many volunteers, we are up and running again.
It is a joy and a privilege to teach children about the benefits of gardening and taking care of their environment.
Without continuous hands-on experience, it is impossible for children to acquire a deep intuitive understanding of the natural world that is the foundation of sustainable development. ….A critical aspect of the present-day crisis in education is that children are becoming separated from daily experience of the natural world, especially in larger cities.
Natural Learning, Creating Environments for Rediscovering Nature’s Way of Teaching,
Robin C. Moore and Herb H. Wong

Last night we had the cutest group of homeschoolers between the ages of 2 and 5 visit the garden.
 After reading them a story about leaving a zero footprint, they picked up garbage, composted, planted and watered.
If a child is to keep alive his inborn sense of wonder, he needs the companionship of at least one adult who can share it, rediscovering with him the joy, excitement, and mystery of the world we live in.
(Rachel Carson)

It's always so much fun watching children get excited about every aspect of the garden, even picking up garbage.  But I do have to say, I think watering was their favorite part. The soil may stay moist for quite a while.

Have a fabulous Friday!

39 comments:

Dee said...

That is SUCH a worthwhile project.

I read an article about children in the inner cities . . . they sometimes could not recognize the most basic fruits and vegetables. Sad. I'll bet every one of them recognized the Coca Cola or McDonald's logo.

Lotusblommans vardag said...

Luckily yo get to organize the little park again.
Fun to see how you do the project together with the children in the area. They probably feel that it is their own garden after this. And cherish the garden even more.

Are you a trained teacher or do you just think it´s fun and fits your personality? :)
You look so releaxed and happy when reading for children.

I wish you a great weekend!
Sussie

Beca said...

I like the idea of a community garden. It is a wonderful work you are doing. Some great lessons being taught too. ♥
xx Beca

Jodiebodie said...

I am so shocked and sorry that a precious community garden could be damaged so badly. What on earth happened? I'm so glad that you all got to work straight away to put things right. That's a great example for the children. It is easy for some people to feel overwhelmed by devastation when something they have put their heart and soul into gets destroyed. I would hate it if the children felt that way and gave up hope.

Congratulations on the amazing recovery effort and I commend you for the work you and the community garden group are doing to educate the next generation and make a better world for their future. These lessons about nature are so important. Without a healthy world to live in, how are we or anything else supposed to survive.

I used to help at my child's school garden by sharing seeds, knowledge and guiding the children as they learned new skills. We talked about plants, nature, food, recipes etc. and so much more. It is such a privilege to have the children share their stories and dreams and we learned from each other.

Good luck with your garden. May it thrive ten times more than before.

Bee Lady said...

Oh gosh, there are so many things I want to say!!! I was the Coordinator of our Community Garden for four years. It was a paid position through Ivy Tech Community Garden, but I also volunteered in the garden as well. We would have boys scouts, students, groups and organizations, you name it, visit us and help, and learn. And you're right, it's not something they are learning ANYWHERE ELSE! I would drag the two boys I watched at the time with me to work at the garden, and when they got older, one of them did his Eagle Scout project at that same garden! And the good thing is, ANYONE CAN GROW FOOD!!! One of the most committed volunteers I had was in a wheel chair. I could just go on.....
I was wondering, the plant in the picture below the children sitting on the blanket. Is that an oleander? Did you explain about some plants being poisonous!

Cindy

Linda said...

Why would they have demolished such a lovely, inspiring place? I just don't get that at all. It's marvelous what you do here for your community!

Betsy said...

It's SO good to see the garden up and going again. I am completely baffled as to the reasoning of why that department would have destroyed it in the first place? Did they ever give you a reason for it? So discouraging when you've worked as hard as you did. But now, seeing the results of the community coming together, it's all wonderful again. I love the sweet faces of those children as they learn about how to care for the garden. Bless you Tammy, for taking the time to teach them with love.
Blesssings,
Betsy

linda said...

Such a shame that it was destroyed I'm glad it's up and running again and what fun that you can teach children how to maintain and enjoy and learn from it. :) x

Sam I Am...... said...

I agree with you but it still makes me so sad when I see the destruction of your original garden....that was just plain nasty! Your group is strong and relentless to start all over again but then Winston Churchill reminds me and evidently you too...."never, never, never give up"! You all deserve a big applause! My daughter teaches art but she also has a garden club she runs at several schools and she has given classes in composting to many....she even has worms in her basement now for composting and uses the "castings" for fertilizer. I gardened and canned etc. for many years and 3 of my 4 children have carried the torch! LOL! Congrats to you all!

Teresa Kasner said...

Gee, Tammy, I did not know that your garden was destroyed! And by the very government entity charged in taking care of your parks! OH MY! I'm so glad to find that you and your group didn't give up and instead vowed to fix it all and make it even better. I admire you so very much. You're such an inspiration for those children! ((hugs)), Teresa :-)

❉ ❉ ❉ ❉ ❉ ❉ ❉ ❉ ❉ ❉ ❉ ❉ ❉ ❉ ❉ ❉ ❉
*M*E*R*R*Y* *C*H*R*I*S*T*M*A*S*!*
❉ ❉ ❉ ❉ ❉ ❉ ❉ ❉ ❉ ❉ ❉ ❉ ❉ ❉ ❉ ❉ ❉

((hugs)), Teresa :-)

Julia - Vintage with Laces said...

I can imagine your feelings when you found the garden demolished, Tammy. What a bad and non comprehensible decision by the authorities. It's wonderful that people donated to bring the garden back to life. You do such a wonderful job saving some green space in your town and teaching the children about nature and environmental issues.
Have a great weeken!
xo Julia

Preeti said...

That's nice that you can connect with children and guide them through hands on experience. Great job!

Createology said...

Tammy Dear it breaks my heart to see your beautiful garden destroyed. And it warms my heart to see the community come together and rebuild. Children are amazing and Bless you for reading to them and supervising their TLC of the plants and environment. I totally believe children will do the right things given they are taught from a very early age. Blessings and Bliss...

Kit said...

Way to go, to get the place back up and looking great. That will show those vandals. Those kids are getting a great education on taking care of our earth. :) Kit

Dagmar said...

Wonderful Tammy to see that with co-operation and caring people can make a difference. It is a great experience to be shared..love and blessing to you and your great gardening volunteers.
Xo
Dagmar

Rostrose said...

Dearest Tammy,
your work with the children is so extremely valuable - I could embrace you permanently! How shocking the pictures of the end of September and how uplifting the current sight. You have the strength to fight against such destructive actions - that's great. I hope never again someone will try to destroy your garden! Please be so nice and link this post on December 14th at ANL!
Lots of hugs,
Traude
http://rostrose.blogspot.co.at/2016/12/namibia-teil-2-kalahari-sundowner.html

Rostrose said...

PS: If Jingles loves catnip and coconut oil I think it would be a great idea to fill the crochetted mice with cotton balls, that are mixed with both...
Give sweet pets to her!
<3

Mereknits said...

I had no idea the garden was demolished, how horrible, your heart must have been broken. I love how the community came together to make it right. You are a blessing to all of those around you Tammy.

Kim Andersen said...

Wow that's fantastic - how discouraged you must have felt - but you brought it back! I love the Margaret Mead quote. How very apropos.

Amy at love made my home said...

I had missed this sad situation but I am glad to see that it is back I hope it will be better than before xx

Sharon Chapman said...

What a wonderful end to a sad situation. Seeing the children so enjoying the garden just warms my heart.

Happy@Home said...

How awful to find your garden destroyed like that. I applaud you for re-planting and also for teaching future generations the importance of taking care of our earth.

Nima said...

Wow...thats awesome to see beautiful garden is building up from that awful looking space...Hope you can save this beautiful space from that nasty people who destroyed it earlier

Caterina Giglio said...

I guess I cannot comprehend such destruction... but I so understand your love and commitment to the earth, to food and teaching others the importance of loving and sustaining the earth. Great Work! xox

Wanda said...

How sad. I remember how wonderful it looked. So glad the community is not giving up, but going to restore it.

Merry Christmas

Hindustanka said...

Hi Tammy! Such a wonderful job you are doing, I am glad you stood up for yourself and managed to bring the garden back alive!
The kids are so adorable when they do such serious things as gardening or cleaning up the house, and they actually enjoy doing it. I try to involve my son in such activities too, and he does it with so much responsibility.

Please tell me more about a community garden, how did you start it, what is the first step? I really would like to do such initiative in our city too.

handmade by amalia said...

This is wonderful to see, Tammy. I believe in gardens.
Amalia
xo

podso said...

I had to smile about the children loving the watering part. Kids are fascinated by water! What a great job you did in bringing that garden to life again, instilling the vision in others, and teaching the children!

She loves to crochet said...

How awful that the garden was destroyed, so glad you were able to create a new one. The benefits from it must be invaluable. I hope you get to enjoy the new one for a long time. Hx

Optimistic Existentialist said...

Looks like they are learning and also having a grand time :)

I wish you a most wonderful Christmas :)

Mariette VandenMunckhof-Vedder said...

Dearest Tammy,
Wow, that was a blow indeed to find the garden demolished. What a shame that those so-called leaders have no respect for anything growing or for nature.
But how rewarding to see little children getting thrilled about growing something and planting.
Let's hope that will stay with them forever!
Sending you hugs,
Mariette

Kit said...

I hope your boys made it home okay! Have a very lovely holiday. :) Kit

Susan said...

Hello Tammy. So glad you are working working with the children. Imagine someone destroying that original garden! Cheeze. You are so kind to keep persevering. Take care and hope you are well and happy. Susan

Cheryl said...

I'm glad to see the garden is coming back to life. Such idiots to take the time to destroy a garden. What was the point???

Jodiebodie said...

A quick visit to say Merry Christmas and happy holidays, Tammy. Thank you for your support and regular comments on Lupey Loops. I've enjoyed getting to know you through our blogs. See you in the new year! :-)

kathyinozarks said...

Merry Christmas Tammy. Loved this post-such a worthwhile project thank you for sharing. Most kids these days are too attached to their electronics and know nothing about their surroundings-hoping this will help them.

Serena Lewis said...

I remember you posting (Instagram?) about the garden being demolished. What a shock it would have been. I'm so glad you all brought the project back to life. It's so important for the children and they seem to enjoy it immensely. Keep up the wonderful work, Tammy.

Wishing you a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year. xx

~*~Patty S said...

The "before" photo almost brought tears to my eyes and then what followed in your post makes me have a huge smile on my face.
Playing in water is always a fun task ;-)
Thank you for visiting my Magpie's Nest Tammy.
Our construction is finally complete and the computer is plugged in again in its new home. Looking forward to catching up with everyone.
oxo

Quinn said...

It's wonderful that the community rallied to support the project and help put things back together! Hopefully with that broader public base, your lovely garden and educational programs will be safe and will thrive for a long, long time. Won't it be brilliant if the children you are teaching about the joy of nurturing a garden grow up and go on to teach other children as well? I wonder how many of us would now be gardeners and caretakers of the land without the encouragement of adults in our long-ago (at least mine is!) childhood.

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