Worms eat our food scraps and leave compost in the soil. Compost feeds the plants and the plants feed us. This winter the pre-schoolers at Anishinabe Academy in South Minneapolis are learning how this simple and respectful cycle works by growing worms fed with the kids own food scraps right in their classroom. While children at Anishinabe are learning in class about worms, soil, seeds, plants, food, and health, a team of energized, organized grown-ups from the school and community are learning how to grow opportunities for the kids to get their hands dirty in the garden.
I’m not sure if worms can smile, but I smile when I think about kids learning how to empower their health, respect their environment, and sustain their culture. The 7th Generation Garden Design Circle has taken root at Anishinabe in order to nurture these wonderful ideas and grow them into a verdant garden of opportunities for the children, families, and staff of the school. Through the development of curriculum based on native culture, nutrition, Earth-friendly gardening practices, restorative justice, and compost heaps of fun, the 7th Generation gardeners are growing awareness, community, and happy kids!
This volume of The Seed is dedicated to the Ojibwe and Dakota High-5 language classes at Anishinabe Academy. Thanks to the super smart kids and teachers in these classes, worms are doing their wiggly work to slime through the grime and turn garbage into garden gold! May the seeds they plant grow into a community of opportunity!