By Justin Seguret, Community Fellow
‘Twas a late winter morn’, in the middle of March
Plans made for a trellis in the shape of an arch;
Twelve four-by-eight raised beds were looked over with care
A new haven for learning was soon to be there.
The students began picturing lush garden beds,
Thoughts of apple and plum trees all danced in their heads;
And the teachers’ wide grins showed from under their masks
They rejoiced at the thought of healing garden tasks.
A long year of covid had them tired of screens,
Away to the garden, they all went to plant greens!
Finding ties to the classroom comes to any who tries,
It’s Math, Science, and Hist’ry all in front of your eyes.
As the work began of the long season’s toil,
The young gardeners sought ways to care for the soil.
They guided students to sow a spring cover crop,
Meaning crop not to harvest, but to chop and drop;
For as these get laid down, they add food to the ground
Making soil biota all joyful and round;
These wonderful critters make the plants decompose,
Thanks to them, just like magic, the nutrient pool grows!
“Now Nitrogen!, Phosphorus!, Iron!, Potassium!,
On, Boron!, on Copper!, Molybdenum!, Calcium!”
And the gifts of this practice don’t even end here,
For organic matter absorbs water so dear.
Thus lay the connection between these garden beds,
And the Science unit on healthy watersheds.
So they brought out a class to teach them this lesson,
And in one student’s mind arose a great question:
“If soil is sediment and organic matter,
Could we give the Grand Canyon more of the latter?
This would help absorb water out in the desert,
And any such thing would be well worth the effort.”
They were awed by how he had made the connection
Between harm to soil and desertification.
While the Grand Canyon might well be best as it is,
Many other landscapes sure could use this smart whiz;
The inquisitive student had just understood
That better land stewardship could do us much good.
And they heard him exclaim, from the place where he sat--
“Because if it can be done, then I want to do that!”