Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Happy Treeday

Composting is an everyday activity at the ECEC.  Each class fills their green compost bucket with organic snack and lunch waste.  Most classes have a compost helper, the shomer adamah, who will bring the bucket out to the garden with a teacher.  Some classes will incorporate this task when they come to the scheduled Gan class once a week.   This week, we began our conversation sharing our knowledge about Tu BiSh'vat.  Most children understand this holiday as the "birthday" for the trees.  I asked if anything else celebrated birthdays.  Of course!  People do.  I asked what happens on their birthdays.  "Eat cake". "Have a bounce house and balloons".  "Get presents".  I told them that they had been making a gift for the trees since the beginning of the school year.  And, this week we were going to give the trees our gift.  I showed them the rich, dark humus collected from the compost bin.  This humus is the gift made from all the composted waste that they had brought to the garden.  I explained that the humus was like super vitamins for the trees.  In order to collect the humus, we needed to filter the finished product from the compost waste that had not yet decomposed.  Teams were formed and the process was explained.     

Two different sized screens were used to separate the humus from the unfinished waste. The children worked cooperatively to process the humus. The material that was too big to pass through the screens was returned to the main compost bin to continue the work of decomposing.

Presenting the gift

As children walked through the garden gifting the rich humus, they offered a prayer of thanks.  Thank you for

"apples to eat"
"for climbing"
"for food"
"for flowers" (the Pomegranate tree)
"a home for the animals"
"wood for beaver dam"

Thank you

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