Peekskill Community Gardens Herb Garden

  • Location
    Peekskill, New York
  • Status
  • Age Level
    5 to 7 Years
    8 to 10 Years
    11 to 13 Years

The Problem

Habitat loss, (pollinators love herbs/plants in the mint family), offer opportunities for students to develop a reciprocal relationship to nature and opportunities to engage senses for younger students. The herbs will give them a way to give back to their school and community through the gift of herbs for culinary and floral and craft purposes and boost to pollinators. In addition, they will learn about plant medicine, as culinary herbs are health promoting

Our Plan

I will buy a variety of herbs to get started, and other supplies. I will work with the garden coordinator/teacher that works at the school with the 3rd and fourth graders to plant the herb garden with the students. At this activity they will learn about pollinators and the effects or our actions on their health, how we can help them. In other lessons, the students will take cuttings and propagate them, learning plant biology. Some herbs will also be planted at Woodside, the school that serves the kindergarteners and first graders. Herbs will be used to convey pattern recognition exercises, sensory exercises, and also to attract pollinators, which they will observe. The little ones will also propagate herbs, reviewing plant parts, and for the spring plant sale. The spring plant sale provides plants for all the community gardens. I will also plant herbs with the Middle School Garden Club. I will work with participants to make salves and craft with the herbs, and soap if that is permitted. It would be great to give them an alternative to soaps with palm kernel oil!!!!

Themes Addressed

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The Benefit

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Here is how the project went:

Wonderful. The children love being in the garden, we got to see pollinators, and explore the soil, and learn about plants and plant propagation. The project was sensory which the children like. They could smell the plants and study them and begin to understand plant families and how plant families like human families have common traits. This project also encouraged me as I am building the gardening program throughout the schools in our District. This project gave me confidence that we can ultimately plant herb gardens at all the schools by having the students propagate them! This will also make the gardens more impactful in that they can see the results of their work as they move through the grades

Through this project I/we learned:

We learned about plant families, plants in the mint family, pollinators, soil biology, and what we are capable of!

What I/we might change:

I would not be so ambitious of what can be accomplished in one season! I did not get to work at the other schools and their students by the time the semester was over. However, the season at the school I did work in went phenomenally well.

My/our favorite part of this project was:

Working with the students, seeing them light up the minute they stepped in the garden, experiencing the soil, getting so excited over life in the garden, and how adept they are at working with plants. I also enjoyed tremendously doing mindfulness work as a way to focus them so they could enjoy the garden. I also enjoyed how much the teachers enjoyed their outings in the garden with the students!

Some tips, tricks or fun facts about the project:

I found the mindfulness work at the beginning of every session very helpful. Before I started that the students would be so excited it would be hard to get them to slow down and observe and be gentle. After mindfulness work, they all get into the experience in a deeper and more rewarding way. Not to mention it makes it much easier on the teachers that their students are acting in a way that does not cause concern re disrupting other classes or safety.

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