by Shante’ Chaney-Donnelly
#RootingForCarrots Pre-K Edition
This past Friday (October 16th) marked the beginning of my awesome mentorship with Little ones Learning Center. The director Wande’ Meadows is super excited about Farm to Preschool at her school and you guessed it… SO AM I! We agreed on having me do super fun cooking demos, facilitating “Try it” days (taste tests with awesome stickers!) and garden activities. My 1st visit, we planted cabbages, broccoli, collards,
lettuce, spinach, kale, radish, beets and Georgia Organics carrots.
When we first arrived in the garden, after a brief intro of what we were to do, I learned that some of the students and even teachers had never been to the garden that lay in the very center of their site! This wouldn’t be the first time I have encountered this, and I knew that I had to have extra patience for the newcomer, and make sure they knew all the magic that was to be discovered. So with this preschool group, I decided to plant cabbage and carrots so they could see and feel the difference between the BIG transplants and the teeny tiny seeds. We all made sure we dug our “cabbage houses” (holes) nice and deep. We tickled those cabbage feet so they could stretch out their legs (roots), and then we dropped them in their new home and covered them with healthy soil, so they’d be super warm and cozy. This planting was a healthy challenge for the itty bitty hands, but they got the job done and the teachers even helped out, including the self proclaimed “Girly Girl” teacher.
Next up… EXPLORING! After planting our very own veggies, we put our hands behind our backs and looked to see what everyone else had planted, which included lettuce and beets in one bed, and radishes and broccoli, among many others. Then someone spotted a…SUNFLOWER! Although it was indeed slumped and dried, don’t fret- there was still a teaching moment here. I asked if anyone liked to eat sunflower seeds, and I got the biggest response from one of the teachers that had never visited the lovely garden. I plucked some seeds from the dried sunflower and I saw her eyes light up. “THOSE are sunflower seeds!” She had never seen them straight from the plant before! It was so awesome to see a real life connection with food happening, and to see that I could and would be a part of creating these moments with any and all interested. This is just one example of why I teach about real food- something that I feel like we all need, but so few of us know about.
This is a preview of all that is to come from this cute little learning center in Forest Park, GA, and I am so happy to be a part of such a hopeful, budding project. Basically its the start of Friday Fun-days with Ms. Shante’ !