This past summer the Children’s Center for the Visually Impaired joined the Schoolyard Garden program. CCVI supports children who are newborn to Pre-K that may have visual impairments, including those with multiple disabilities. Teachers at CCVI help the students develop important life skills so they are better prepared in the sighted world. CCVI received a beautiful, wheel chair accessible raised bed as a donation and the staff thought it would be best to create a sensory garden for their students. This garden serves as a place for students to spend time using their different senses by feeling the shapes and textures, smelling the herbs, and tasting the vegetables.
For CCVI’s first summer garden we planted tomatoes, cucumbers, zucchini, sweet potatoes, beans and cotton. They were especially interested in growing the cotton because they were unfamiliar with the plant but knew students would have fun pulling out and touching the cotton. After several weeks of watering, the garden began exploding and students started enjoying the fruits of their labor.
When it came time to help with CCVI’s first sweet potato harvest I was impressed with how the teachers and staff put forth extra effort to create a sweet potato harvest event full of sweet potato themed activities! While students waited for their turn to dig for sweet potatoes, each student got to feel the parts of a sweet potato plant, participate in a relay race and play a quick game of hot potato! That day CCVI harvested close to 60lbs of sweet potatoes! During their annual Thanksgiving dinner they offered the sweet potatoes to the parents to take home and enjoy during the Thanksgiving break.
Thank you, CCVI, for inviting me to your wonderful sweet potato event! We are glad to have you as one of our Schoolyard Gardens and I look forward to working with your school again next spring!