In Santa Fe, New Mexico, Acequia Madre Elementary School has a garden that everyone helps cultivate. With the help of teachers, parents, and a few volunteers, kids at the school get to spend part of their day learning how to make food grow. There is always so much to do! In spring, the students look through seed catalogs and figure out what to plant. They build a compost pile. They arrange the garden beds and plant seeds. They tend the plants. The garden is filled with all kinds of insects and animals, too. As food becomes ready, the students harvest it. From radishes to corn, beans to cucumbers, an abundance of food is available, and the students are able to continue harvesting throughout the summer, even when school is out! Community meals are prepared, and everyone loves spending time together and celebrating.
George Ancona’s lovely book, It’s Our Garden, about one school’s garden is sure to spark an interest in growing things, both in children and adults! There are so many ideas in here, and it is wonderful to see how this school gets children outside and interested in food production. The book is full of color photographs from the garden, and the vivid descriptions of the growing process will keep readers engaged.