Tuesday, 8 December 2009

10th Graders in the Garden

Finally, we were able to take grade tenth back to the garden where they planted their first sweet pea flowers two weeks back.

When I say "we", I mean me and Fahim Zuberi; the gardening expert at our school. We began our little tour around the garden in pre-primary building by going through our vegetable patch to see the progress, and latter stopped by to see how our gourd and mustard plants are doing.

Girls loved cosmos flowers and couldn't stay away from their lovely sweet pea plants that are 5-6 inches tall now and need a support.

Its always is a delight to see students get involved in gardening, and to see them so concerned about their plants. Best part is the walk through the wild to reach our garden.
I think students love it too:).

Happy Gardening !
-Zahra







Tuesday, 20 October 2009

From My Garden..To Yours !

Flowers are the beautiful hieroglyphics of nature with which she indicates how much she loves us. - Goethe

Imagine walking into your office with your head full of plans for the day, and catching a sight of a small little present that waits for you on your desk. Won’t it just make your day?!

It will always bring a smile no matter if it’s just a randomly picked flower or a little note saying “Have a good day!”

Life is all about sharing love and spreading smiles where ever you go. I like to take flowers on my way for my friends. During the time I was working at City PAF Chapter, my Senior Ministers, Ms Ruksana, loved motia flowers, so I would take some for her everyday. Once I forgot but she noticed and complained that she had been waiting for her flowers that morning. It felt amazing that few flowers can become so valuable and can spread a smile on their faces.
Just yesterday, Vice Principal form same school sent a message for me that she is still taking care of water lettuce plants that I gave her last year. It filled my heart with inexpressible delight.
As gardeners we all should practice giving each other something from our own garden. I am lucky to have found amazing gardener friends here at Dawood Public School. I had to give them something special!
Some of my cacti made it to the desks of my friends but many other baby cacti wanted a new home and Fahim (my gardener buddy) agreed to adopt them! I am happy for them.

You must take a walk through your garden, there ought to be something that you can present a friend and make them speechless with joy :)


~ Happy Gardening!

Zahra


Thursday, 8 October 2009

A Day in Pictures



Why try to explain miracles to your kids when you can just have them plant a garden. ~Robert Brault

Gardening requires lots of water - most of it in the form of perspiration. ~Lou Erickson

There can be no other occupation like gardening in which, if you were to creep up behind someone at their work, you would find them smiling. ~Mirabel Osler

One of the most delightful things about a garden is the anticipation it provides. ~W.E. Johns,

Coffee. Garden. Coffee. Does a good morning need anything else? ~Betsy Ca├▒as Garmon

Why Did My Plant Die?

Why Did My Plant Die?

Geoffrey B. Charlesworth






You walked too close. You trod on it.


You walked too close. You trod on it.


You dropped a piece of sod on it.


You hoed it down. You weeded it.


You planted it the wrong way up.


You grew it in a yogurt cup


But you forgot to make a hole;


The soggy compost took its toll.


September storm. November drought.


It heaved in March, the roots popped out.


You watered it with herbicide.


You scattered bonemeal far and wide.


Attracting local omnivores,


Who ate your plant and stayed for more.


You left it baking in the sun


While you departed at a run


To find a spade, perhaps a trowel,


Meanwhile the plant threw in the towel.


You planted it with crown too high;


The soil washed off, that explains why.


Too high pH. It hated lime.


Alas it needs a gentler clime.


You left the root ball wrapped in plastic


.You broke the roots. They’re not elastic.


You walked too close. You trod on it.


You dropped a piece of sod on it.


You splashed the plant with mower oil.


You should do something to your soil.


Too rich. Too poor. Such wretched tilth.


Your soil is clay. Your soil is filth.


Your plant was eaten by a slug.


The growing point contained a bug.


These aphids are controlled by ants,


Who milk the juice, it kills the plants.


In early spring your garden’s mud.


You walked around! That’s not much good.


With heat and light you hurried it.


You worried it. You buried it.


The poor plant missed the mountain air:


No heat, no summer muggs up there.


You overfed it 10-10-10.


Forgot to water it again.


You hit it sharply with the hose.


You used a can without a rose.


Perhaps you sprinkled from above.


You should have talked to it with love.


The nursery mailed it without roots.


You killed it with those gardening boots.


You walked too close. You trod on it.


You dropped a piece of sod on it.

Thursday, 17 September 2009

Keeping Track









This morning when I was walking inside the school, it was a joy to see all students running towards their pots, watering them and excitedly talking about plants.
Two girls were watering their radish seeds in plastic glasses through the window that reflected early morning sun, a crowd was scattered in the corridors near the plastic bags, and right when i was loving the sight of passionate gardeners, some angry prefects ran towards me with complains about students that they want to see their plants all the time, and they cant allow that because then they never leave:)

Although I felt even more joy, but they were right too. So told them that they should be only allowed during break. As I took a tour around the campus to see the progress, in few classes teachers caught me walking pass the window, and asked if I was the gardening teacher, scared.. I said yes. They also had same complain! That students wont sit on their chairs, they keep going back to their plants on the window slab. :)



I felt super good. Only because without anyone forcing these kids to look after their plants, they have developed an attachment with them. As soon as they enter the campus, they run to see their plants, now their plantation area has become their favorite hangout, they themselves have started sharing duties to water their plants and then not to forget all the requests to take their plants with them for the weekend:)

Well... I cant put my feeling into words.. I am totally crazy in this regard. The satisfaction that I am getting by seeing these children turning so passionate about gardening and nature,teachers and domestics asking for developing interest in sowing seeds and uncountable question sessions by students when ever and where ever they see me, is just beyond expression.



Sow a seed!

~ Happy Gardening

Monday, 14 September 2009

Buzzed


Each day brings new surprises, new reasons to be thankful and to appreciate the beauty that still surrounds us. This morning I was lucky to encounter some bumble bees buzzing around this stunning wild plant.

These fuzzy bees are usually 3/4 to 1 1/2 inch long,with yellow and black band or stripes on them(although this property changes in some species).Unlike Honey bees, they are not honey producers but pollination greatly depend on these social servers.

If you ever catch the sight of a bumble bee hovering over a flower, feeding on nectar and collecting pollen as it go to one flower after the another,just pause and adore the little creature that is quietly keeping this world green. Although nature produced more than 200 species of bumble bees, but sadly they are facing a threat of extinction. The only thing we can do to save them is to preserve their habitats.

It enough for our awakening that these great bees have been praised in Holy Quran and have been set as an example for us.













Sunday, 23 August 2009

Going Wild




Last week, I along with my 8th graders, had an adventurous stroll in the garden. Initially they were recluctant to step in to the wild garden, but then it was hard to take them out of there!

Sunday, 9 August 2009

After the Rain









Discovering Garden


No matter how many times you have passed by a garden, there is always something waiting to be discovered.

Gardening gets amazingly adventurous with children. For my first gardening class with 4th and 5th graders, we decided to discover the garden that we visit everyday.

Students were super excited to be in the garden while it drizzled. I asked them to sit on the grass, to close their eyes and to simply listen to the sounds of the garden. They enjoyed melodious dance of the leaves and chirping of birds. Next they were asked to open their eyes and just observe how differently each tree dances as wind blows through it. It was so exciting for the young gardeners to notice the sounds and sights of the garden for the first time.I made them breath deeply under the Neem tree and then to come out and do the same. They noticed the difference and felt refreshing under the Neem tree. A small discussion why trees are so important and what a single tree is doing in your garden followed. They were given a challenge to find some clues! This stirred eagerness to discover more.
It turned out to be a treasure hunt when I asked them to find ant holes, nests and also to discover which bird lives in those nests. My young gardeners ran all around the garden to be the first ones to find the answers. One group shouted that they found a crow feeding its babies and the whole class rushed that tree.

While our little venture lasted, students found mushrooms growing under a tree, went on a bug hunt and then searched for all the birds that they can find and chased kittens around the garden! The best part was that they dint wanted to go back to their classes. students in their classes kept standing up and continued to peek outside to see what was happening.


It was deeply refreshing for me to see them running all around the garden, digging up clues, flipping leaves to find bugs and then shouting and running away screeming at a sight of even a minute little bug!

Aah…the experience can not be expressed, it can only be felt.

~ Happy Gardening

Sunday, 2 August 2009

Planting Dreams




Here are some photos from my first visit to Dawood public School, in Karachi.
Couple of days back, Pasha asked me to join in for a meeting with agriculture students from Karachi University with an agenda to team up to promote gardening.

DPS seems to be the place to start from. The school wants us to conduct gardening classes for all grade levels. Around the huge campus there are suitable plots to work on. The admin also allotted a reasonable space for vegetable patch with in the vast piece of land that is somewhat like a small valley with in the city.

This place is surrounded by carved rocky hills on top of which are bungalows. Some of the space is being used for parking and the rest is naturally green with shrubs, trees, wild fruits, vines, grasses and what not.

The project is still in its very initial stage. But surely has a lot of potential and reasons to be attractive.
































Sunday, 22 March 2009

NewsFeed in Pictures




















































further reading

crops in pots