We were inspired by The Transition Streets Challenge to create a vegie garden on the verge for kids in our Street. Cathy discussed the idea with Jasmine and Alexa, and they created invitations for kids in the streets.
We had our first working bee yesterday: 14 kids and nine parents were there for some or all of the afternoon. Cathy had done a lot of planning and preparation, which allowed us to get a lot done.
It was great to see everybody getting into it. The kids ranged in age from 3 (who didn’t stay long) to 12, and worked really well. I think some of the parents were quite surprised! Quite a few kids stayed for the whole afternoon (1:00 – 5:00 pm). As with any kids’ project there was plenty of playing as well as working – a pile of dirt is great for all sorts of games!
We weren’t sure how well it would go down, but the kids were really positive. We kept hearing comments like “that was SOOOO much fun”, “this was heaps more fun than I expected”, “this was really fun and it was great to meet the other kids in the street”.
The 11 school-aged kids from the street and a neighbouring street (there were a couple of friends of local kids there) went to three different schools, so they didn’t all know each other. By the end of the day they were all great friends.
After a big day yesterday, most of them are walking down to our local Farmers Market (which is normally at the showgrounds but because of another event there is at an alternative venue nearer us) this morning to buy some seedlings, and most are coming back to do some more work this afternoon.
I’m sure the garden is going to make a difference to people in our street. The kids (and parents) are going to build stronger relationships (two of the parents realised they went to school together), even people without kids are going to take an interest and get to know the kids better (a few neighbours stopped by to say hi) and it is likely to lead to more social get-togethers.
Hopefully it will also encourage people to think about their food, develop an appreciation for fresh vegetables and move towards more locally grown organic food.
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