Monarchs, Milkweed, and the Moon

23 23Last week was Art Garden II, the joyous conclusion of our Summer Arts & Smarts programming at Patchwork.

Art Garden II brought the return of Susan Fowler who told stories of great journeys: a water drop’s journey through the water cycle, monarch butterflies’ journey from Mexico to Canada, and the astronauts’ journey to the moon (the dates of the first moon landing corresponded to the dates of Art Garden II). Houston sweated bullets (with the help of Susan’s infamous squirt bottle), there was a giant step onto the moon’s surface, the flag waved from the moon, President Nixon and his wife (played by an 8-year-old girl and her two-year-old cousin) called the astronauts on the moon, and there was a splashdown in the ocean (more squirts from the water bottle).

Meanwhile:

  • Bill and Pat led groups in the garden as they harvested potatoes, beans, and other produce. (One volunteer remarked to me: This is great! I’m in my 60’s and this is the first time I’ve ever seen how potatoes grow!)
  • 25 31Elisa led groups in the studio as they created clay pots and painted their clay butterflies from the first Art Garden Week.
  • Joni led groups in the kitchen as they created daily snacks for the group using garden produce. Snacks included crispy kale, herbed cream cheese pinwheels, sauteed beans and potatoes, and blackberry “jam” thickened with chia seeds. The group also cooked up several dishes for the feast.
  • 30 08Dixie led the group in a song about butterflies that she’d written specifically for the week. The kids created special butterflies and made them fly around the room.
  • Real monarch butterflies visited our butterfly garden!

We celebrated the summer at our annual Garden Feast on Thursday, July 23. Over 80 participants, volunteers, their families, Patchwork staff, and Patchwork friends gathered for a potluck meal, photos from the summer, a reprise of Susan’s summer stories, and the world premier of the stop motion animation video that had been created by the children the week before. The wonderful video captures the fun and magic of the summer at Patchwork:

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