Wednesday, 20 July 2011

BOOK REVIEWS ~ Robin Hill School ~ "The Garden Project" By: Margaret McNamara

Since our garden is growing fast and furiously (thanks to abundant rains lately), Isobel especially enjoyed the book, "The Garden Project" from the Robin Hill School "Ready-to-Read" series (Level 1), written by Margaret McNamara.

In the book, the teacher, Mrs. Connor, decides to turn on old sandbox into a garden plot.  "Parents filled the sandbox with dark brown dirt." After dividing the garden into four smaller plots, four students were assigned to planting seeds in each "square." 

"Nick, Katie, Emma and Eigen planted radish seeds.  Nick made holes in the dirt with his fingers.  Emma dropped one seed in each hole.  Eigen covered them up."

Some of our radish crop...
At this point, Isobel told me about her own experiences, poking her finger into the dirt and helping her stepdad, John, planting seeds.

Another foursome planted sunflower seeds.  "Sunflowers are big.  'And they need a lot of sun!' said Jamie."  (We have a few sunflower plants in our garden, too!)

Some other students planted pea pods while "Neil, Nia, James and Megan planted lettuce."

When Neil begins complaining about disliking vegetables, Mrs. Connor takes it in stride and says, "We shall see." 

"Every day the first graders tended their garden.  They watered.  They waited.  After one week tiny green sprouts came up.  The class picked weeds.  They kept birds away.  They watered some more.  They waited some more.  After three weeks, little lettuces were growing."

The sunflowers started to grow taller -- even taller than some of the children!  When the garden produce was ready to harvest, "Mrs. Connor made a lettuce and radish salad, with pea pods on top."

'Yummy!' said Neil. "Yes," said Becky.  She bit into a pea pod.  "It tastes just like sunshine."

Reading this little book to your child will help encourage them to try gardening for themselves. 


Alisdair and I were only gone to Victoria for six short days but the growth of the garden over that brief period was remarkable!  We took a few photos of our plants to show Grandma and Grandpa.  The potatoes are almost waist high ... it's unlikely we'll be able to rotovate between the rows again this season!  We thought we'd post a few photos of our radish crop (and the other plants) to accompany this book review.  I know Isobel will be very busy helping out, once harvest time arrives in Saskatchewan!

The potato patch ... plants are up to Alisdair's waist!

Tomato plants ... Isobel's already eating cherry tomatoes from the garden!

Giant sunflowers and squash ...

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