Westland kids know how to get their hands dirty—literally. Their school has long believed gardening to be a fundamental activity for children and adults alike and to that end has developed different garden spaces for each group around campus. Every class has an opportunity to plant and tend their space, bringing nature into their curricular themes, science study, and artistic expression.

The most extensive garden on campus is our Community Garden. Once we decided to incorporate the “garden to table” concept into the daily life of the school, the parents set about building a terraced vegetable and herb garden for all six groups to share.

A parent committee oversees our thriving garden program, led by a parent who is a school gardening expert. Every class has a chance to tend its part of the garden every week. The children are involved with every step, from planting seeds to nurturing the plants, and then of course their favorite step: the harvest. A series of “harvest and cook” days—including Potato Pancake Day, Radish Day, and Stir-Fry Day—complete the circle and prompt a common parent question: “How did you get my kid to love vegetables so much? ”
The energy and excitement surrounding the garden remind us all of the many valuable life lessons to learn from nature. As our gardening chair says, “What are the possibilities for all of us as we take ourselves from seeds to grown-ups? We’re all having a shared experience that is quite magical.”