Courtney’s middle school in Amarillo is rehabilitating their green house to start using it for education and for the food bank. Right now they are looking for funds to help them acquire or build a storage shed so please check out this link at donors choose.
Over the last few years I have poured through books and websites about using gardens for education and for faith development, and I have yet to live anywhere long enough to start my own garden. I’m also hopeless at gardening. No matter how many Alice Waters books you read about teaching through growing food, it still doesn’t make you a good gardener.
We have planted a few things here and there and had a good crop of cherry tomatoes one time. J, our eldest daughter, picked up a green union we planted and proceeded to eat the whole thing. So, we have engaged a little in this sort of education at home.
But nothing like what Courtney is doing now. She’s got seed beds going, they’ve painted, they’re raising funds, and they even have kids and teachers wanting to sign up to help. The project will benefit both the local community through a church and through pan handle plains food bank.
The kids will benefit from learning a little about agriculture and the work that goes into food production. While I have no experience to back up this belief, I think the majority of kids learn better in tactile environments, and the green house might provide a place and space to touch and feel concepts that elude them in english, math, history, or science when presented in a more abstract setting.
It also seems like a place where you learn about the time it takes to cultivate plants, and in that work, the kids might discover the time and effort it takes to cultivate or grow parts of their minds and character. For that reason, I think there is rich soil for faith formation to be had in the work of a garden, and let’s face it “food’s kinda important.”