Planning in the Snow

Today we spent the morning in the garden on site at the prison.  It was 40 degrees and sunny so I thought it would be a great day to get going on planning for the season.  We had some naysayers grumbling and we all sunk into the deep crusty snow but we did it.  We have a real range of students in the class and so I heard a real range of comments.  Some thought we should just wait until spring, others thought the measurements would be really off because of the snow, others just got down to business, organized themselves and did the job.  I stayed out of it as best I could and let them socialize into groups and take responsibility for the measurements.  It was nice to see them fall into a productive group and get the job done and actually have fun doing it. Afterwards, with fresh air in our heads we had a very creative time organizing the data.
I gave them a pile of graph paper and tape and pencils and they divided themselves up again and worked to mark out the garden on graph paper, one inch per one foot at a time.  They then cut and taped the garden together and we were left with our first draft of a plan.  It’s not pretty yet, but its a lovely beginning and it was done by the men all by themselves.
After lunch we watched DIRT which is really inspiring and a perfect movie when planning a garden.   At first I saw a few eyes roll and heard a couple exaggerated sighs but by the end students said they had really enjoyed it.
We began with a plan and we learn to appreciate the soil and before we know it we’ll be planting peas.
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