It’s been a joy to share in the Bagby School Garden experience these past few years. I’ve had the pleasure of working with Donna Boss since 2007. Donna and one other parent pioneered the school garden. They rallied volunteers and donors along with the school custodial staff, and with a day of sweat-equity, gave birth to the Bagby Garden and Outdoor Classroom.
A handful of parents turn out once a month and we collectively share and instruct eager students in the joys of planting, watering, harvesting and tasting the fruits of their labor. Students are inquisitive and willing to try new things. Green soup anyone? Kids covet the rakes and watering cans along with the over-sized wheelbarrow. At the school’s Open House my own children were proud to show off what they planted. Budding gardeners take pride in what they grow.
In addition to planting and harvesting, we have a chance to look at bugs, read stories and make garden-related crafts. One of the more popular Garden Fridays included a pumpkin raffle. Our first pumpkin harvest yielded several beautiful specimens. Other years, we supplement from a local patch. One afternoon, my garden duty was babysitting a pair of mantids (praying mantis) from curious but occasionally over-eager hands.
Each summer we sign up to take care of the garden for a week. It’s my secret pleasure having the garden all to myself for that week. During the teaching Fridays my role is to instruct, not to plant, water or weed. It’s not always easy when you have green blood running through your veins to step back and let others do all the work (and have all the fun)!
My son graduates this year and a whole new crop of students will take his place. We’re both ready for new experiences and growth, but I’ll look back wistfully on my time in this lovely garden. It went by too fast.