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Every summer near Portland Nursery’s Stark Street location, a van from Growing Gardens pulls into the driveway of a house. More than just a house, it is the home of The Garden’s Noise Preschool. In the back yard, a group of young gardeners anxiously wait, ready to show their visitor what they have been able to accomplish in several weeks’ time.
Summer 2006 was their fourth year of growing plants for Growing Gardens. The children start and tend seeds of cucumber, kale, and collards until they mature into sturdy transplants ready to pass to Growing Gardens’ clients. The work of these preschoolers helps to provide gardening experience and fresh food for other young gardeners and their families.
This is a huge moment for the kids of The Garden’s Noise Preschool: They have been diligent for ones so young and are proud of their efforts. But this effort was only one portion of their whole gardening experience. As the name implies, they are busy in the out-of-doors much of the time and they’re not afraid of rain!
The children plant pansies, bulbs, and perennials. The grassy play area is ringed with color and life and plants to tend much of the year. It is a vibrant place in which these three-and-four-year-olds can creatively flourish. At the same time, they learn lessons of responsibility and compassion, and how often seedlings need to be watered.
As close neighbors to our Stark Street location, they come over as a group to pick out the right color combination of pansies to plant. Excitedly and earnestly they make their selections. They even brought us a card and a loaf of banana bread they had made themselves to thank us for the donations and discounts provided over the years. The bread was delicious!.
The visitor from Growing Gardens was genuinely impressed and pleased with the number and quality of plants waiting for him. Some of the children shyly smiled, others were eager to tell what part they played, which plants were individually “theirs.” All have a sense of genuine pride and happiness at this event. They all lined up with their plants for what is becoming the annual photo. They’ve been doing this for the past four years. What’s next? How about a singing parade through the garden in celebration of the day and all its good things?
The possibilities seem endless at The Garden’s Noise Preschool, and that is a part of why it is so much fun for us to help them with their gardening adventures – you never know what they’ll come up with next, and an adventurous spirit for gardening is what it’s all about.
Peggy Acott, Portland Nursery Community Outreach Director
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Sunday - Thursday 8:00am - 7:00pm
Friday & Saturday 8:00am - 8:00pm
5050 SE Stark, Portland, OR
9000 SE Division, Portland, OR
For information on how we can help, please send an email to Peggy Acott