New City School 4th Graders garden for others

Nicki's Central West End Guide For Children Urban Gardens  Wolfgang's Pet Stop New City School Arthur Culbert
One blustery February afternoon New City School 4th graders and their teachers were introduced to an urban garden they were adopting as part of a curriculum on citizenship. The fruits of the children's farming efforts were to benefit two food pantries in the Central West End, one at Trinity Church and the other at Second Presbyterian Church. Involving the children in the gardening effort was the idea of indefatigable CWEA Board Member, Arthur Culbert (see photo below). The plot of land on Waterman had been farmed for the same purpose the year before by a group from Health Literacy Missouri on Euclid (see post here). Nicki's Central West End Guide For Children Urban Gardens  Wolfgang's Pet Stop New City School Arthur Culbert

On their first day working the garden, the children were handed seeds for lettuces and spring peas. Despite the chilly conditions, mittens were foresaken so the seeds could be sown in neat rows. Each child was given a pumpkin seed to plant in a paper cup full of soil. The pumpkin seeds were carried back to the classroom to germinate on the windowsill. I overheard one student say that she couldn't wait to make a pumpkin pie! Another said, "I am so excited, this is like a dream come true." Nicki's Central West End Guide For Children Urban Gardens  Wolfgang's Pet Stop New City School Arthur Culbert
Nicki's Central West End Guide For Children Urban Gardens  Wolfgang's Pet Stop New City School Arthur Culbert

Nicki's Central West End Guide For Children Urban Gardens  Wolfgang's Pet Stop New City School Arthur Culbert

Photo courtesy of Arthur Culbert

The photo above was taken much more recently. Arthur's gardening scheme also involves neighborhood businesses. Wolfgang's Pet Stop on Euclid donates pet hair from grooming sessions that is put into mesh bags and laid around the garden to repel rabbits. Accompanying the hair, Wolfgang's sends a picture of the donor, which garners lots of admiration from the children. New Market Hardware on Laclede at Sarah recently donated paint sticks for signs the students made for the food pantry. And a neighborhood volunteer, Emma Holtzman, waters the garden every morning.
Nicki's Central West End Guide For Children Urban Gardens  Wolfgang's Pet Stop New City School Arthur Culbert

Nicki's Central West End Guide For Children Urban Gardens  Wolfgang's Pet Stop New City School Arthur Culbert

Photo courtesy of Arthur Culbert

The 4th graders have proved to be enthusiastic farmers. One of the student's parents called Arthur on a  recent Saturday morning to ask if she could bring the sleepover group to work in the garden that day. Just yesterday the children worked for over an hour harvesting 16 pounds of collard greens, lettuce, spinach, and turnip greens for Trinity's Food Pantry. They carefully shook the dirt off the greens and put the produce into 20 bags, which was delivered to the church for yesterday's clients.

  Nicki's Central West End Guide For Children Urban Gardens  Wolfgang's Pet Stop New City School Arthur Culbert

Photo courtesy of Arthur Culbert

Nicki's Central West End Guide For Children Urban Gardens  Wolfgang's Pet Stop New City School Arthur Culbert

Photo courtesy of Arthur Culbert

The photo above shows the produce on the table at Trinity's Food Pantry. Someday soon the 4th graders will take a field trip to meet the clients they serve.

 

 

Nicki's Central West End Guide For Children Urban Gardens  Wolfgang's Pet Stop New City School Arthur Culbert

Arthur Culbert also planted fruit trees around the perimeter of the garden, above. This whole effort from start to finish is the work of this one wonderful volunteer. He came up with the idea, arranged for the involvement of New City School, and purchased the vegetable seeds and fruit trees on his own. And the benefits of this effort will definitely leave an impression on these young lives and benefit those who are less fortunate.  Many thanks to Arthur for his amazing contribution.

nickisbuzz

4 Comments

  1. Reply

    Mary Lee Pankoff

    April 19, 2012

    Nicki and Arthur,
    Great work and wonderful pictures and article. I am honored to be one of your friends and “partners in crime”. (smiley face)
    Mary Lee
    CWEA

  2. Reply

    Linda

    April 19, 2012

    Great post! I love seeing school integrate “alternative” ways of learning into (or outside of) the classroom. The LA Times recently profiled a school in West LA that planted a garden and saw their test scored rise sixfold!
    http://www.latimes.com/news/local/la-me-bird-school-20120416,0,1384226.story

  3. Reply

    Katie

    April 19, 2012

    Creative, energetic and so willing to give his time and talents to the neighborhood — the CWE is truly lucky to have Arthur.

  4. Reply

    charlotte lyons

    April 26, 2012

    awesome! what a great gift to the children and the neighborhood.

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