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.

further reading

crops in pots