Tuesday, June 26, 2012

The Lead Weed

I have been a teacher for 27 years and for the past 18, have been lucky enough to be a Moss Haven Teacher. This year I add to my credentials "Lead Weed" (Moss Haven Garden Teacher).

I have always been outdoor oriented in my personal life and am constantly looking for ways to bring kids and learning outside. Even in Texas when it gets hot, the shade of the tree and a light breeze keeps you cool when you're outside. Having always loved the idea of an outside classroom, work tables and areas where kids could learn outdoors, I was more than thrilled when I heard the buzz of some moms who were thinking along these same lines.  I jumped right in and became the teacher on the team.
Moss Haven Farm Team aka Garden Gals
I come from a long line of farmers. For several generations, my family farmed the rich soil in the Central Ohio countryside. In fact, my cousin still farms the land that belonged to my Great Great Grandparents. My Grandfather had a big influence on me and taught me so much about the dirt, the lawn and the plants that grew there. He was raised on a farm near Lucas, Ohio. Later, when he was raising a family of his own, he became a manager at the local grain elevator. He knew a lot about the farming industry and soon The Statler Fertilizer Company wanted to hire him on for this knowledge he possessed.  He was given the nickname "Mr. Fertilizer", and would travel around the country teaching people about the benefits of fertilizer. In addition to marketing the product he was selling, he also reminded folks to let their grass clippings drop on their lawn rather than bagging them as this was one of the best ways to fertilize their yards. He was a huge fan of composting lawn waste and food scraps. He was "organic" minded before they coined that term. He used to pay me 5 cents for each dandelion weed that I would pull (roots and all) and I would love to work in the yard along side him. It was there, that I learned many of my first lessons in gardening.
My Grampa, Dale Peterson, aka Mr. Fertilizer
When I had a home of my own, the first thing that I did was start a garden. I am by no means an expert gardener, just an avid one. I have as many failures as successes, but with either, it is a constant learning curve. I am very happy being the Lead Weed at our school and every day that I dig in that dirt, I can't help but think about my Grandfather and how proud he would be of me today. The cycle keeps spinning and I hope to teach many kids the love of gardening that I learned from Grampa Peterson.

Future Farmers Of America?

1 comment:

  1. wonderful story Kim. Congrats on being the lead weed. if you would like a logo for special weed let me know ( i might have to send you one) sounds so cute. i continue to be in awe and proud of you my friend. yippee skippee.