Last week, over 250 third grade students explored the Community Organic Garden at the arboretum that UA New College students are coordinating as part of an independent study this semester. Austin Creel, New College student and employee of the arboretum, organizes community events at the arboretum and activities for children.
Camille Perrett and I guide this class through the gardens, and demonstrate how to tell the time with your shadow, by standing in the correction orientation to the sunstones, depending on the month of the year.
Watch out! Not only birds like to live in the treehouses, but wasps take a visit in there occasionally. The kids are inspired to make bird houses and bird feeders at their own homes. One little girl pulls my sleeve and exclaims "I wish I lived with you! Then I could come out here every day!" I tell her that the arbroetum is open every day and that if she asks her parents, she probably can come visit again soon.
In the photo above, Aleisha and Blanca smell the flowers on the way to the vegetable garden.
Below, Camille Perrett demonstrates to 3rd graders how to install a tomato cage around young tomatoes. The kids got to see the bee hives where honey is produced, and the strawberry beds that are already producing sweet red berries. Even if the kids do not grow up to be farmers themselves, at least they realize that it is possible to have a very close relationship with your food and how it is grown.