Pointer Planters Garden Workshop
Center Point Urbana Schools started a gardening club in 2019 with the goal to involve the community. Since then, a garden has been created in Fross Park where variations of fruits, vegetables, and herbs have been planted, tended to, and grown by the CPU gardening club - Pointer Planters.
On July 13th and 15th, 2021 this group hosted a gardening workshop for daycares, families, and summer programs. Children of all ages participated in the fun and educational activities.
I had the opportunity to host one of the six different workshop stations to expand children’s knowledge on pollination, gardening, and other factors of agriculture. The stations available to participants included seed identification, garden art, storytime, pollination, sensory search, and seed bombs.
The seed identification station showed students a variety of seeds that have been planted throughout the garden. The participants attempted to identify what the seeds were, where the plants were in the garden, and even got to dissect some!
With the garden art section, students painted pictures using plants, flowers, and vegetables grown right in the CPU Community Garden! Potatoes, carrots, kale, basil, and other herbs and veggies were used to stamp and paint creative images.
For storytime, I was given the opportunity to read a variety of agriculture stories that explored pollination, crop growth, livestock, and more. Some of the most loved stores were “So You Want to Grow a Taco” by Bridget Heos, “Achoo! Why Pollen Counts” by Shennen Bersani, and “Who Grew My Soup” by Tom Darbyshire, along with many others. While I read these informative books, students colored, ag-related pictures.
The pollination station was one of the most exciting ones according to participants. Students each received a bag of Cheetos and a paper bee ring. The children acted as bees, traveling around the garden and dropping “pollination” (the Cheetos) onto “flowers” (paper bags). Students learned how important pollination is for plants to grow and got to enjoy their tasty leftover “pollen” after the job was done.
The garden sensory search taught students about different forms of plants that have grown in the community garden. Using clues and descriptions given by the Pointer Planters, students scavenged the garden to find the plants in question. By doing this, students were able to use different senses to discover and learn more about the plants.
The final station, seed bombs, used ingredients of soil, clay, water, and wildflower seeds to create their seed bombs. After creating their seed balls, children can throw them in various areas - their yards, gardens, ditches, etc. - and watch their wildflowers grow!
All of the stations throughout this garden workshop were great, memorable hits that kept students involved and informed. Participants left these workshops with plenty of goodies, crafts, and new knowledge that have certainly peaked their interest in agriculture.