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We were lucky to have Duke student Morgan Carney with us last semester. Morgan did a photojournalism project (http://wondersofwatts.com/grow-watts-grow/) on our school’s garden-and-cooking project for a class she takes at Duke University. Her professor, Susie Post Rust, is a George Watts parent. The end result speaks for itself.
Two-bean kale soup. Brussels sprouts with caramelized shallots. Sweet potatoes with cinnamon pepita seeds. Gingerbread with skillet apples. That’s what was on the menu for the Harvest Mini-Feast at George Watts Montessori. And pre-K through 5th grade students cooked it ALL.
I remember that when I was in middle school, my Home Ec teacher taught me to change a diaper. She also taught me how to sew an apron using a sewing machine. I’m pretty sure there were no boys in that class. It all sounds so terribly old-fashioned and sexist now, really. But in that class, I also learned how to cook.
This is a story about the amazing ripple effect that a single person can have. Last year, a parent (not me!) of a Primary student in Ms. Baker’s class offered to help out by taking the students outside to the Edible Garden every week. The plan grew: The parent decided she may as well plan a string of lessons for the students to do outside. This is what the garden looked like on one of her volunteer days.
I just created a presentation about the evolution of our school garden at George Watts Montessori. (I can’t wait to tell you why I was doing that, but that will have to wait for another post.) To show what we’ve accomplished, I delved into the 5 biggest ways the garden has contributed to the students’ health and academics.