* This post is part of a series on the valuable character traits our students practice in the garden.
An elder friend of mine once told me that planting a garden is one of the most hopeful things we can do in life. We have no idea how the weather will turn, or what type of pest or disease might arrive to destroy our crop. And yet, we plant, hopeful for a bountiful harvest. Perhaps even more hopeful is the act of planting a crop that we won’t get to harvest ourselves. Rather, it will be harvested by the generation that comes after us.
This is precisely what we ask from our students on their last day of Green Heart each semester. At the end of the Fall semester, our students plant a crop of winter greens, onions, and garlic that will be harvested in the Spring by next semester’s group of students. Last week, our students did just this – placing small transplants and seeds in the ground in service to their follow students who will take up the garden in January and see a bountiful crop in the Spring.
As we “Plant for Future Generations” with our Green Heart Buddies, we practice the character trait, or “soft skill”, of Citizenship. We define Citizenship as working respectfully and responsibly with others and for our community. We ask the question: what does it mean to be a good citizen, and to practice Citizenship? We offer some examples of how we can display Citizenship, for example: taking responsibility for our thoughts and behaviors; taking care of property, the environment, and relationships; and considering the well-being of others before we act.
As we all approach the end of the year, doing our best to slow down and reflect, perhaps we can ask ourselves: “How do I practice citizenship?”, or even better, “How can I be a better citizen?” The answer will be different for each of us. However, we will probably realize that we can always do more, and do better, to sow seeds for future generations to harvest.
Warm Holiday Greetings to You and Yours,