In Group A, week 3 began with the class sharing exciting stories about their weekends. What amazed Emma and I the most was their application of permaculture practices outside of the classroom. Some campers composted, others helped in community gardens, and many spent extra time soaking up the sun.
Later in the day, the campers were introduced to some real-life applications of permaculture in the documentary film, Biggest Little Farm. Accompanied by interactive worksheets and illustrations, the campers were excited to share what they had learned. From ducks eating snails, owl barns, pesticide-free crops, and healthy soil, each camper was newly equipped with information to care for the planet in healthy ways.
To complement the film, we took a field trip to the farmer’s market to explore how vegetables and fruits are sold within the community after harvest. The kids were able to source ingredients for our special culinary treat - momos! After discussing the history and technique for folding momos, our steamed dumplings turned out beautifully (and tasted delicious). While dumplings were waiting to be steamed, each camper had a chance to chop cucumbers and add various ingredients into a jar to prepare for fermentation. We discussed dehydration the previous week, so fermentation was the next form of food preservation to be discussed.
After eating our yummy snacks, the campers checked out the vegetables growing in our rooftop garden. What we all saw shocked us! Numerous tomatoes, a giant cucumber, aromatic herbs, and edible flowers had flourished. Each camper also checked on their tiny sprouts and adopted new plants. The campers drew inspiration from the garden for their watercolor botanical paintings. From pollinators to ripe vegetables, and crawling insects, the campers used their creativity to bring their paintings to life.
The week ended with ice cream, sprinklers, and a competitive game of “pick up the water balloons” at Travers Park. The campers enjoyed cooling off after a fun and busy week. Each left with a hand painted succulent pot, full tummies, and many fun-filled summer memories!
-Teacher Hannah Berman