Bear Creek Community Gardens — Food that Grows

Look around, and everything is ripe for the picking. It is harvest season: my daughter’s class has been studying seeds, and how things grow. This has led to some food adventures — cooking beets, squash, and carrots in class whereupon we parents arrive to pick up our children and find them, forks in hand, attacking a plate loaded with root vegetables and summer squash. It may not surprise you, but this brings me great satisfaction at seeing so many young mouths clamouring for fresh, home-grown veggies.    

Last week I had the pleasure of tagging along on my daughter’s field trip to Bear Creek Community Gardens in Colorado Springs. A place where locals can rent 20 x 40 foot garden plots for the growing season, with organic gardening as a rule. To keep it real, weeds surrounding the area are even maintained by hungry goats that come to graze at the end of the season. 

On this gorgeous autumn day, teachers Brenda and Cecilia took their class on an adventure to explore the plot they share within the community gardens.

The kids scampered about, picking at the ripe bounty timidly at first and then so boldly that everyone had to be reminded to keep their “harvesting” to the right garden.

Little hands cupped large tomatoes and devoured them entirely, they shucked beautiful ears of corn to find jeweled kernels inside.

They raced around a pumpkin patch sitting on the giant pumpkins just because they could.

 They found ladybugs hiding on dill gone to seed, and small squash just the right size for carrying some place, any place.

 I was reminded of how important it is that children see how food grows. To smell the “green” permeating the air from the stalks and vines all around. To taste what “picked ripe” really means. To have the sense of taste be an avenue to exploration and play. And it makes me wonder if all of the infamous little “picky eaters” of the world could resist tasting a golden heirloom right off of the vine? I think they would ask for seconds.

 It was a good day indeed, and Sofia’s only complaint was: “we didn’t spend very much time at the gardens!” I think even all day luxuriating in such abundance would still be too short. Many thanks again to Brenda and Cecilia for sharing their little plot of food paradise with us.

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8 Responses to Bear Creek Community Gardens — Food that Grows

  1. Brenda says:

    Stephanie, Thank you for sharing our little piece of chaotic paradise with the world. My 2 young girls have gotten so much from gardening these last few years- and they have entertained many of the gardeners with their love of mud and small tomatoes. Our eager young gardeners had a sensory experience they will not soon forget! Your pictures are gorgeous- Brenda

  2. Looks like you had a fantastic day out – really joyful pics. Loved them.

  3. rita says:

    Children + A Vegetable Garden = Happiness! What an enjoyable afternoon of learning where food comes from. Your colorful photos tell the story so well! Thank you!

  4. Emily says:

    What amazing photos!!!! I loved your description! That’s what I call a field trip!

  5. Cindy says:

    Thanks for capturing the field trip! I feel like I was there after reading the post:)

  6. Arob says:

    SUCH good photos, I love your style. It’s like we have a related aesthetic or something….

  7. MB says:

    Oh Stephanie – you make me want to move to Colorado! Really fabulous experience for the children – or anyone for that matter! Ella prefers tomatoes fresh off the vine and warm from the sun – but they don’t grow so well in these parts! Thanks so much for sharing!

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