Gardens Become Educational in Greensboro

If you happened to drive by the Dunleith Community Garden last week, you may have been surprised with the upsurge of youth filtering through out the garden like ants busy at work.

the ant march commences

In fact, from Tuesday to Friday of last week tenth graders at Greensboro Day School graciously volunteered their time and labor with Urban Harvest in a weeklong educational experience off the limitations of school grounds. As a local private school, Greensboro Day School has developed an impressively humble tradition that allows students to participate in a week-long service partnership to help their local community and relieve local non-profits before embarking on summer vacations.

GDS volunteers stop for a break and picture in front of the garden

This year, Urban Harvest was one Greensboro’s non-profits selected to receive a group of student volunteers. Ranging in levels of gardening expertise (some with an extensive permaculture background since the 7th grade) the students assisted Urban Harvest in planting peppers, trellising tomatoes, building compost bins, and sheet mulching pollinator beds for the expanding community project.

Carrots, Carrots, and more Carrots

oh, more carrots you say

This service venture is a testament to the power of working in groups. Two hands shoveling mulch is obviously easier, more efficient, less sweaty, and generally more enjoyablethan one person attempting to complete the same task. (Unless you are a recluse like J.D. Salinger, for which you would find this post to be a complete waste of time).  But that’s besides the point. Truth is, volunteer partnerships demonstrate the value of having accessible gardens in local areas. In a society increasingly expanding in  eco-conscious  civilians, community gardens have the potential to evolve into outdoor classrooms.

Harvesting Turnips on Tuesday

Now i admit, the idea of gardening or gardens as educational spaces is nothing groundbreaking. In fact, we can look to Alice Walker’s Edible Schoolyard epidemic for proof that gardens  are perhaps the most versatile spaces for teaching individual lessons and cultivating personal values; Determination, growth, patience and organic integrity are a worthy handful that immediately come to mind.

But on a larger scale, gardening as education is one of those great ideas that is rarely pursued. Instead we find gardening workshops in the elite niches of America or as large scale farming in those roadside rural towns that seem both unfamiliar and familiar at the same time.

Ideas of widespread and educational garden spaces, especially in urban areas, are often abandoned when visioners reach obstacles such as installation, resources, or simply the risk involved in pursuing external support.

lets harvest arugula!

However, i reiterate in one week a small community garden demonstrated the capacity to educate a group of high school students. No chairs or laptops required. So fellow visioners, whether gardeners or not, don’t surrender ideas you believe in to the first or second obstacle that presents itself. Any substantial idea worth pursuing was previously confronted with a great obstacle. To harp upon the words of an old friend, “if it was easy everyone would do it (except breathing, and a couple of other exceptions if you want to get technical)”.

That’s all for now.

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: