I sub'ed for our PE teacher last week. With her permission, I used the opportunity to get some desperately needed, heavy lifting work completed. Plus, I had been tasked with getting kids to work out. What better garden excersise is there than wheelbarrow mulch-moving, mulch spreading, rock hauling, and rock wall building?
Extreme Gardening was on!
The 3/4 graders shoveled wheelbarrows full of mulch from the pile to the patch and dumped it inside an encloser that other students were expanding with rocks hauled alongside wheelbarrows. Other students spread the mulch evenly inside the encloser. "Look, Ms. Krista," pointed out one girl with a sparkly pink scarf around her neck, "I got scrapes from the rocks kind of and it doesn't even hurt," as she bounded away to get more rocks. Sweaty and dirt-streaked, students headed back to class feeling invigorated. I hope their classrooms weren't too potent for their teachers.
The 1/2 grades were given the task of building "the school's biggest rock ring" that would "save the mango tree that is so thirsty from this drought." "We can mulch it!" yelled out one excited boy. "That's right," but "we must build the ring first." Our massive mango tree is at least 30 years old, weathered and in need of some nutrients. It yields some of the best mangos I've tasted. "Anyone here like mangos?" Hands shot up with little bodies as if lifted by the perfection of those mangos. They worked by themselves and in groups to move the mound of rocks I had hauled up from the fill pile earlier. Some grabbed fist sized rocks and started filling in gaps while others sough out only the hugest stones in the pile and along the fence. The only rocks off-limits where those in existing rock rings, so the kids took off like worker bees after prized rocks. Sweaty and pink cheeked, the littles had that ring built in 15 minutes flat.
The 5/6 graders voted extreme gardening down and opted for a game of Nation Ball. Why not? The option was there and I needed a break! Extreme gardening was tough on substitutes too.
Krista Joan says:
My mission is to teach, train, and testify in resistance to the white supremacy of my ancestors. My personal choices are political, powerful, and practical. Let's trash waste.