Compass points kids to gardeningThis summer, children in kindergarten through 4th grade had the opportunity to learn how to garden.
This summer, children in kindergarten through 4th grade had the opportunity to learn how to garden with the help of Douglas County Master Gardeners Steve and Diane Henry.
The Community Education Summer Compass program partnered with the Master Gardeners, Douglas County Extension and the Alexandria School District 206 Food Service to teach children the art of gardening.
Discovery Middle School in Alexandria provided the space for three large raised beds behind the school. The program began on June 8 and was held every Thursday morning.
About 15 children attended the classes. They prepared the soil and planted seeds – carrots, lettuce, zucchini, yellow squash, sunflowers, cucumbers, pole beans, pumpkins and zinnias. They also planted tomatoes, herbs, watermelon, petunias, potatoes, broccoli and cabbage plants.
The students studied germinations, root development, pollination, weather, garden pests, weed recognition and composting. At each session, they checked the temperature and the rain gauge, weeded and watered. They also built a teepee for the beans, and a scarecrow to protect the garden.
“It was wonderful to see the children help each other, especially to drag the hose over to the faucet and put it away at the end,” said Diane Henry. “They were so curious about the changes in the garden each week and they asked many questions. We all learned from the experience.”