Give Peas A Chance!
Hello everyone, my name is Brad and I am a Community Worker in training at George Brown College. If you are reading this then I am glad to say that we both survived this gruelling winter! This is me on the left.
The past four months working with Green Thumbs has been a remarkable experience. I began my practicum during the harsh weather of January, so the opportunity to spend time working in our wonderful school gardens has not presented itself.
Though I haven’t had the chance to see the three sisters (squash, corn, and beans) grow, I have been fortunate enough to participate in the planting of seeds. We have planted countless varieties of tomatoes, basil, eggplant, carrots, kale, etc. Yes, many of these will seeds grow into delicious and healthy food; but there are other seeds that produce fruits even more plentiful: the seeds of knowledge, curiosity, and questions. While a garden-fresh tomato is a wonder to behold, it’s the ideas that are being planted at GTGK that I believe will be our prize crop.
I have introduced a classroom full of kindergarteners to the wonders of composting through in-class worm bin workshops. It’s amazing that we can give worms our table scraps—food that would ordinarily be thrown into the trash—and they repay us by filling our soil with nutrients, helping us to grow more food.
The idea that humans and nature can co-exist isn’t new, but on a large scale somewhere along the way we stopped saving that idea. Birds, bees, humans, worms, dirt… we’re all in this together! The open exchange of ideas among the staff, volunteers, youth, and kids at GTGK has been inspiring. As a newcomer to urban gardening, I have thirsty roots.
Over the March Break, GTGK hosted a series of workshops at Allan Garden’s Children Conservatory. The programming was created by three students from the GBC Community Worker Program; Chris, Kisha, and me. The program allowed the kids to experience a plant from Soil to Snack. The ingredient of choice was peas. We had a week full of lively sessions that included painting clay pots, planting pea seeds, and the preparation (and more importantly the eating of) salad rolls that featured our star ingredient. The day also included a tour of the amazing greenhouse at Allan Gardens. One of my fondest memories of my time at Green Thumbs Growing Kids is giving a tour of Allen Garden to a group of children during a snow storm. This really serves to highlight the work we are doing. Like the plants in the greenhouse, we have come from near and far, and here we are under the same roof, with a common goal of growing; some of us need more sunlight and some of us need more shade.