By: Disa McAlister, Executive Director
The first event exhibit of the season, Urban Gardening for Every Home, exploded onto the scene this year. Our new Exhibits Director, Dana Sandoval, created our most engaging, eye-catching and professional exhibit to date. For the first time, we have wooden signage for each activity, which helped our volunteers and the general public. Our organization could not be more proud of the kick-off this year.
Debuting at the McKroskey House at Tumbleweed Park, and hosted by Chandler Museum, 45 people dropped in to experiment with the interactive exhibits. Kids of all ages played with several activities: the Three Sisters’ Garden, planting an onion in a take-home container, identifying planting methods, and learning how roots and soil soak up water through a sub-irrigation unit.
During the Three Sisters’ Garden activity, kids were able to construct a life-size replica puzzle of corn, bean vines, and squash. When planted together, each of the three plants contribute to the strength and safety of the group.
Kids made their own pot planter with newspaper and then planted their very own onion to take home. The purpose of this activity is to show that even half-way eaten foods (like onions or lettuce) can be replanted in soil and kept for several months, as opposed to being edible for only a few more days in a conventional refrigerator.
When little hands were nice and dirty from planting in soil, they moved to the sub-irrigation activity and squeezed out water from soil-like sponges. We learned how soil can act like a sponge, soaking up water, and subsequently the roots of plants can act like sponges and soak up the right amount of water from good soil.
Finally, we had a propagation table that showed how various plants grow. A ginger root, for example, grows underneath the soil, while a strawberry plant will produce “runners” similar to Bermuda Grass.
Families were able to track their level of understanding with an identification worksheet and attained a stamp in their passport booklet. Kids were encouraged to bring their passport booklets back to each
event to get a new stamp each month.
It was a very encouraging turnout with lots of positive feedback; we hope each month is as well-received as this one was.
We would like to thank Stacey Hemeyer for taking and providing the photos for this event.