To continue the documentation of our garden experiments at school, here are the sketches of our plans that were designed by our wonderful parent volunteer. She shared them with us yesterday and in turn I am sharing them with you. I want to mention here, that these plans might change as we start implementing them, just like the plans for presentations we make for ourselves in the classroom.
RAISED BEDS ALONG THE KITCHEN PASSAGE
List of plants in the raised beds in the kitchen passage:
Corn – 2 varieties (Rainbow Corn and 1 other); Bhindi (Okra) – Sri Lankan; Brinjal – 2 varieties ( Apple Green Brinjal and ‘Hiltalu Brinjal’); Capsicum – Prima Bella
Tumeric; Drumstick; Sunflowers; Marigold; Chilli – 2 varieties ( Cayenne and 1 other); Garlic; Tomatoes – 2 varieties ( Round and Cherry)
Beans; Celery; Cosmos; Radish; Cauliflower
SEMI-CIRCULAR RAISED BED NEXT TO THE WATER MOTOR ENCLOSURE
Here we have Dill, Onions, Beetroot and Cabbage
AROUND THE COCONUT TREES
Coconut tree one (or the tree with the parrot)
This tree has a pre-existing boundary ledge in concrete going around it in a square, which means we have little choice but to stick with the square shape.
Here will be ‘maggay’ cucumber; nutmeg; lime and ginger
Coconut tree two ( or the tree with the sandalwood!)
This tree had no pre-existing boundary in concrete so a ‘yin yang’ design was made.
Much to my delight, when we rented the school space there was a sandalwood tree growing next to the coconut tree. It was just a sapling but now has taken firm root and is growing well. This is a much sought after plant in India, and is used widely in religious ceremonies. The tree further reached mythical proportions in popular culture thanks to Veerappan, a notorious dacoit who poached sandalwood and evaded the governments of 3 states for 20 years! Thefts of even the smallest sandalwood trees are quite common.
We plan to plant some sponge gourd as well. Loofahs are made out it’s fruit when dried. You find these loofahs in most cities in India, often times with seeds still in them!
Stinging nettles! – The nettle plant found us rather than the other way around. So, they have a bad name and yes, the plant at school is a little toxic but they are also loved by some caterpillars, butterflies and moths and us at school! The children are fascinated by their red cherry-like fruit and their leaves that sprout thorns along their mid-ribs. The nettle definitely stays.
Additionally we will plant lettuce and carrots.
CHILDRENS GARDENING PATCH OUTSIDE THE ELEMENTARY ENVIRONMENT
This area is just below a splendid rain tree with a sprawling canopy, which means that it probably does not receive enough sun to grow vegetables and flowers. But herbs and leafy greens should work well here.
Yesterday we laid out a keyhole design. The herbs and greens that should do well in this area are listed below. Being the first round of planting, we have done the planning without the children, keeping the soil, sun, water conditions in mind. By the time the second round of planting comes around, having tended the plants and observed the space, the children will be able to participate in the planning stage as well.
Basil; Rosemary; Lemon Grass; Parsley; Sage; Chakramuni; Red Amaranth; Spinach; Corriander; Thyme; Oregano; Fenugreek; Mustard; Golli Soppu; Green Amaranth; Mint and in the centre – Cosmos.
To better understand what will grow and won’t in this area we will plant some veggies in pots and place them around the patch. If they don’t do well then we can always move them to a sunnier spot.
Here are the proposed veggies for the pots. When the children come from their summer break, we will plan which veggies to plant together:
Tomato; Lettuce; Capsicum; Beans; Brinjal
“When we understand that man is the only animal who must create meaning, who must open a wedge into neutral nature, we already understand the essence of love. Love is the problem of an animal who must find life, create a dialogue with nature in order to experience his own being.” ~ Ernest Becker