Our very well cared for gardens have been repaying us with a bounty of flowers, vegetables and fruits. The children have just noticed in the past week that the raspberry bush finally has ripe fruit on it! They have been exploring the bramble, reaching up high, crawling down low-and using some cooperative tactics to pick these beautiful berries. I would say that they might be berry obsessed with the raspberries and our healthy blueberry bush.
All of the berry worship got me thinking that it might be fun to pay homage to the fruit brambles, via representation on paint and paper. After a few good reads of one of our crowd favorites, Jamberry by Bruce Degen, a group of children and I got to painting. Here are the colorful results!
Earlier this month we hosted our bi-annual garden work party. We were so happy that so many of our families showed up to help us with some much needed clean up after such a harsh winter! We want to say thank you to everyone who contributed their time, who brought food for sharing and for all of your hard work. We hope you enjoyed working along with your children on helping us create some new outdoor provocations for our wonderful yard. We feel very fortunate to have a community of helpers that extends their talents and lends their time helping to create something great for the children. We will be enjoying our uplifted yard for many sunny months to come!
“It may be doubted whether there are many other animals which have played so important a part in the history of the world, as have these lowly organized creatures.” -Charles Darwin on worms, 1881
The children’s fascination with worms persists through the changing of the seasons and over time. One of the first memories I have of Elm House, almost one year ago, was the over turning of the stumps and the exploration of the creatures who lived there. The children have new questions about the worms, “why don’t they like sun?” “Why are they in a hole?” “Why they in the garden?” Their questions have become more complicated and personally I delight in helping them investigate and understand more.
Luca’s mom, Laurel is our resident worm expert though. A few weeks back we invited her to give her worm presentation to the toddlers and once again we have our very own worm bin to feed and observe over the summer! Thanks again Laurel!
Here are some photos of our reintroduction to worm bin worms.
Last fall the children and their families helped prepare new garden beds to give us some more space for backyard gardening. With the help of Nora, a teacher from Tulip Tree, the children planted Broccoli, Kale and Garlic. After many harsh winter months we went to check on how our garden was doing. After going on a investigative walk with a small group of children to see other people’s winter gardens, we wondered how our plants had turned out after snow, ice, wind and torrential rains. Would our garden even be there at all? Did all of the plants get too cold? Just how strong were those broccoli stalks?!
As you can see by the delight and excitement on their faces the children discovered that some plants did indeed survive! We noticed that only one small kale plant remained. But look at that broccoli! The children screamed with surprise when they saw the garlic stalks that have just popped through to the soil. The children exclaimed “We need to tell Lainy, so we can eat them!”
We will soon be starting seeds indoors and planning our spring garden. Does your family save seeds and want to share a few with Elm House? Has your favorite local nursery have a package you would like to bring in? This sun has me inspired, to say the least 🙂
This week at Elm House we have been saying our goodbye’s to some of our older friends. For the past couple of weeks we have been preparing the children for these changes through conversations, stories and a handmade book called Friends Grow Up, written by Bee. When I see the extra tight hugs and well wishes from the children at the end of the last day with a friend, I know they at least partially understand that their time together, at least at Elm House, has come to a close. We have cherished our time together and wish you all the best in your new adventures at Tulip Tree Preschool and beyond!