By Captain Planet Foundation service member, Dasia Harmon
The development process of a FoodCorps service member is quite the journey. The beginning of my service consisted of navigating a new city, familiarizing myself with new schools, and establishing relationships with students and staff. It was a period of anticipation and adjustment. However, I managed to overcome these challenges. Now that I have established a bond, and adopted the name “Ms. Daisy,” from some of my students, I feel comfortable and more prepared.
As I reflect on some of my favorite activities with my students, creating garden journals was one of the most useful activities so far. Together we created these journals by walking around the school to look for small sticks that were used to create the brim of the book. After, we sat on the grass and assembled them as a group. Not only did the students have fun making them, but it also served as a tool for all of our future lessons where they wrote reflections, drew pictures, and kept garden vocabulary lists.
Shady pine trees block the sunlight for most of the day in the garden at Beecher Elementary, so not much growing takes place, especially during these cold winter months. On the bright side, we moved the growing indoors. Students in the S.W.A.G (Student Wellness and Gardening) Club were given the opportunity to grow oyster mushrooms from growing boxes in their science classroom. The students cared for their mushrooms daily, as we learned the importance of composting, fungi, and what spores are.
Once the mushrooms were mature, we prepared for a feast! Shortly after cleaning and chopping each student took turns sautéing their mushrooms by adding minced garlic, and light oil. Afterwards we rolled them in tortillas and enjoyed.
Expanding the already established school gardens, and creating more community involvement are just two of my many goals for the year ahead, and of course more taste tests! With these goals in mind, I remind myself everyday that even the small progress from day to day adds up to big results.