Mill Valley Children’s Garden

Today was my third week volunteering at the Mill Valley Children’s Garden at Edna Maguire School. Started off with the third grade class, where we harvested lettuce mix, rainbow chard sprouts, radishes, and nasturtium flowers that we put into a big salad bowl. The kids helped pick and break apart lettuce, thin the rainbow chard, pull out radishes, and pick edible flowers. We then added a light vinaigrette dressing and set the table while reviewing appropriate table manners. The kids were given the option of eating the salad, and every single one wanted to try it…and then asked for seconds and some even thirds. I have never seen children get so excited over a bowl of salad…and then fight over the last few servings of it.

Next, the fifth grade class learned about mushrooms and looked at a few different types under magnifying glasses. They then went into the fruit orchard and collected fungal web from the dirt and wood chips and took a closer look at that as well. The last activity involved scooping compost into wheelbarrows and piling it in the plot where they started the lasagna mulching, in order to continue the next layer.

The kindergarten classes did an art project, which involved painting a variety of leaves from the garden and using them like stamps on paper. They were asked to feel the different leaves and describe their qualities and how they differed from one another. Then they used white paint to cover the veiny side of the leaves and pressed them onto paper to create a print. This was a lot of fun, and also very messy…


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