Farmer Sheldon welcomed the children to Wonderland Garden by sharing the story about how he becomes a farmer then offered an introduction to the history and goals of the garden.
Zenobia Barlow suggests, ‘Children are born with a sense of wonder and an affinity for Nature. Properly cultivated, these values can mature into ecological literacy, and eventually into sustainable patterns of living.”
The children learned the walking paths are made from 6,000 recycled tires that were saved from being placed in a landfill. The garden benches are made from recycled plastic bags and milk jugs. The stacked stone walls have been built out of 100,000 lbs. of county sidewalks that were dug up. Sheldon impresses the children with the need to reuse, reduce and recycle.
When asked ‘What kind of birds can you name?’, the children were able to offer many examples from Robins and Bluebirds to Eagles, the Phoenix and even Georgia’s own state bird, the Brown Thrasher. Everyone helped to fill the bird feeders while investigating how birdseed has a great variety of shapes, colors and textures. We also all learned how important it is to be good stewards toward the other creatures living in our environment.
After filling some of the bird feeders with sunflower seed, Sheldon brought some sunflower heads from the past season to show the children just where sunflower seeds come from. Each child plucked several seeds from the flower head then got busy planting them in the garden.
“If I were a flower…I would be a sunflower, To always follow the sun, Turn my back to darkness, Stand proud, tall and straight even with my head full of seeds.” Pam Stewart
The children put so much thoughtful attention into this planting activity. Even though it was the first time for many of these kiddos to plant seeds they did not hesitate digging into the soil to find the perfect spot.
Say something pretty
After a lesson about how a seed needs moisture to germinate and how roots absorb water to make the top of the plant grow, the kids filled their watering cans with water captured in a rain barrel to water in their planted seeds and surrounding flowers. Watering the garden was definitely a favorite task.