Saturday, July 30, 2022

GardenDC Podcast Episode 113: Gardening with Children

In this episode, we talk with Sonya Harris, garden educator and advocate, about gardening with children. The plant profile is on Anise Hyssop and we share what's going on in the garden as well as some upcoming local gardening events.

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The SHOW NOTES: 1:15 Meet Sonya Harris, garden educator, advocate, and founder of the Bullock Garden Project! 2:21 Sonya’s childhood with gardeners and farmers 3:20 Cherry trees, peach trees, and sassafras! 4:41 Teen years brought anti-dirty attitude 6:01 Encouraging her son to go play outside 7:13 Special education teacher for 25 years…never getting dirty 8:00 Students struggling with one-to-one correspondence led to connection through gardening! 8:38 Sonya proposed planting a garden to the principal because she saw the benefit in her students 10:37 Journey from never getting dirty to loving the garden and engaging with it 11:04 Ahmed Hassan helped get the garden off the ground at the school 12:19 “Tulip seeds” — Sonya 13:04 Peer-reviewed articles from Europe about the benefits of gardening with kids 14:36 Ahmed got a group of master gardeners together to build the garden 14:53 Teacher planning mode kicked in…fundraisers, donations, and volunteers 16:05 Sonya’s passion about gardening with kids 17:09 “Horticultural Mrs. Miyagi” 18:04 “From Shoes to Seeds” blog that Sonya started after she fell in love with gardening 18:54 School garden started winning awards only one year after it was completed 19:28 Shaping school curriculum around the garden 19:45 School-wide movement — Town-wide movement 20:13 Cafeteria cooking produce from the garden for kids’ lunches 20:46 2017, other teachers reaching out so they could do the same thing with gardening 21:42 Sonya left teaching in 2019, but still loves it 22:22 Student who hated class, but loved the nature channel and found comfort in the garden 24:40 Running non-profit full-time and using the Bullock Garden Project to feed people during the pandemic 25:55 “I got to live my passion twice.” — Sonya 27:26 Experiential learning is so rewarding 28:00 Almost all school curriculums can be taught through the garden (reading, vocabulary, math, science, etc.) 31:30 Garden as a place where kids learn about patience and failing 32:52 Goal to see garden education become the norm and not just an extra 34:04 Referring to the garden as belonging to the children 34:21 Kids involved in the planning and working of the garden 35:00 Dorothy L. Bullock Elementary School is named after the first African American administrator in Glassboro, NJ 35:47 Bullock Garden Project is in schools in neighborhoods where people have been historically marginalized and live with food insecurity 36:43 Grow radishes first 38:00 “Never yuck their yum.” — Sonya 38:33 Container gardening indoors 39:38 Pollinator garden, interrelationship between all things 41:18 Students can become the teachers 42:08 Problem solving with deer eating veggies out of the garden…plant extra 44:07 Gardens build a love for the earth into children 45:45 Connection between deforestation and deer entering the garden 46:11 Kids love the idea of manure and fertilization 47:02 Seeing things through the eyes of the child 47:48 Letting kids throw seed wherever helps them to learn about intention and discovery 49:31 Gardening with kids is all about the journey and not the end result 53:45 Get in touch with Sonya on social media @njgardenteacher, various events she hosts, and her website: 57:57 Learn all about Anise Hyssop in this week’s plant profile! 59:50 New in the garden this week: ripening tomatoes and Crape myrtles 1:00:42 Local gardening events: National Capital Cactus and Succulent sale at Brookside Gardens, Cultivate the City: Plant Propagations 101 class, Azalea sale at Kirkwood Pres. Church, etc.

If you liked this episode, you may also enjoy listening to:

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Episode Credits:
Host and Producer: Kathy Jentz
Editing and Show Notes: Tori Vandergriff


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