Life Is Connections

Patchwork is in the middle of our fabulous summer children’s activities. We started two P1380181weeks ago with Art Garden Week I. It’s our biggest week of the year, with over 25 children and 25 high schoolers and adults in attendance. Participants receive our unique mixture of experiences in the garden, in the art studio, and in the kitchen. They also experience Susan Fowler’s frenetic storytelling.

Susan is great at pointing out how everything and everyone is interconnected. Her mind links it all together. Her theme for the summer is the state of Indiana’s Bicentennial.

Susan and Connections: Work on Indiana’s constitution began exactly 200 years before our Art Garden Week I. The constitution was written in the shade of an elm tree in Corydon, Indiana.P1380163

Elm Tree: Ashton played this famous elm tree when Susan led the children in acting out the writing of the constitution.

Ash: Patchwork has an ash tree in its front lawn and now ash trees are being threatened by emerald ash borers. We love our tree and don’t want it to die.

Patchwork’s tree: Every day we ended our time together in the beautiful shade of Patchwork’s ash tree.

Walk to the Ohio RiverAt the end of the day: On Wednesday, a group of children and adults departed from our closing circle to walk all the way to the Ohio River to collect water and bring it back to Patchwork. It was part of an effort to raise awareness and funds for CoCoDA, an organization that helps residents of small villages in El Salvador gain access to drinking water. In areas where there is no nearby source of drinking water, children spend a large part of their day simply fetching water. It took us an hour. Find out more in this news story.

Water: Susan led us in discussions about water and the fact that it is essential for life. She suggested that perhaps she should not squirt everyone with her famous squirt bottle because it was wasting precious water.Clay mushrooms

Susan’s squirt bottle: Susan decided to give her squirt bottle to John H.  so he could squirt some water into everyone’s hands as a bit of refreshment. John was so excited to be able to squirt the bottle that he ran around the circle and sprayed everyone with a lot of water. Everyone was happy to get squirted and didn’t mind a little water being wasted.

Water not being wasted: We used the water we collected from the Ohio River to water plants in Patchwork’s garden. During Art Garden I, we transplanted flowering plants for the butterflies and vegetables for the children to eat. They need extra water.Cabbage to roast

Garden: In the studio, everyone made ceramic mushrooms that will become art for our gardens.

Garden Art/Art from the Garden: We also harvested garden produce, brought it into the kitchen, and turned it into beautiful snacks to eat together.

Time together: Any child can come to Art Garden Weeks. There is no charge, so money is not a barrier. It is only through many generous donations that we are able to do this. We are grateful that so many people see the value in these activities for children. Special thanks to the Arts Council of Southwestern Indiana for providing special funding for our summer arts activities.

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