Activity time: 30 minutes
Materials for Activity
- One or more clay growing pots (at least 16" in diameter and 12" deep), or a window box
- Potting soil
- Six young strawberry plants or one set of small onion bulbs for each pot
- Watering can
Preparation for Activity
- Find a sunny spot where you can place one or more large growing pots or a window box.
- Locate a water source near your meeting place. You may need to fill a watering can several times during this activity.
- Make a plan for who will regularly water the plants.
- Obtain one or more clay growing pots approximately 16 inches in diameter and at least 12 inches deep, or a window box.
- Purchase six young strawberry plants per pot, and/or one set of small onion bulbs per pot.
- Spread newspaper where you will plant. Set out the pot(s) or window box, plants, trowel(s), potting soil, and a full watering can.
Description of Activity
Share, in your own words:
In the woods where he lived, Henry David Thoreau would have found wild onions and wild strawberries that he could eat. Nowadays few of us have wild berries or vegetables we can find near our family homes to eat.
Today we will begin to grow some food right here in our meeting space.
Guide participants to place an inch or so of gravel across the bottom of the pot. Explain that the gravel and the hole at the bottom of the pot allow the extra water to drain away, so the soil does not get moldy.
Invite one or two children to help you fill the pot(s) three-quarters full with potting soil. Allow the children to take turns planting the strawberry plants and then adding more potting soil. Leave an inch or two between the top of the potting soil and the rim of the pot.
To plant the onions, push an onion bulb into the potting soil, until the onion is just covered with dirt.
Each time you meet, invite children to observe the growth of the plants. They may want to draw the plants in their journals. When the strawberries or onions are ready to harvest, have a plan for sharing them with the group or with others.