Westland children know how to get their hands dirty—literally. The school has long believed gardening to be a fundamental activity for children and adults alike and to that end has developed our thriving garden program, led by a parent who is a school gardening expert. We have two community gardens on campus: one that serves as a living lab for understanding all aspects of gardening, and the other that adds the resource of organic produce for our Friday parent-prepared hot lunches. Every class has a chance to work in the gardens every week with our parent gardening committee.
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 gardens 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.”