Each recess, student volunteers appear through the canopied entrance of the garden, gleefully awaiting an opportunity to help. At the end of recess, these volunteers are given the opportunity to harvest something ripe and tasty. The other day a recess helper accidentally picked more than her allotted amount of sorrel. She held two pieces of the healthful treat in her hands, one large and one rather tiny. When another student walked up and asked for a piece of sorrel, I witnessed a beautiful moment between the two young people. The little girl looked between each of her hands – at the large, lush leaf and the more bite-sized morsel. A brief, anguished looked passed over her face as she considered her options, but it was replaced with a smile as she handed over the larger piece. This interaction embodies something so special that happens when we emphasize the idea of success as a joint-venture – and something to be enjoyed together.
In the garden we cultivate a culture of sharing. It's not a heavy-handed part of our curriculum, but a simple feature instilled in all of our interactions. All children and community members are welcome to come help in the garden. In turn, we all reap the benefits of what we've mutually sown. We are sharing our beautiful green space, nurturing the garden itself and encouraging the extension of such behavior inside and outside of garden life. Seeing this simple, selfless act between two children exemplifies our success in-action.