The Urban Mission Center partnered with the St. Louis Temple Corps Character Building programs this fall. Our hope was to show the joy that comes from being a good neighbor! We took a walk through our neighborhood, highlighting the good things around us. Stops on our walk included the Benton Park West community garden, two of our Temple houses, and Temple Gardens.
We discussed what it means to be a good neighbor. Simple ideas, like keeping your yard tidy and planting flowers for people to enjoy. When I asked the Explorers, a group of about 10 little boys, what it means to be a good neighbor, they mentioned something about training your dog to be nice and saying hello to the people you pass on the street. All good things!
A friend at the community garden who was tending her bed gave us a whole lesson on how to harvest kale and other greens. Great neighboring in action! The boys picked carrots, which of course they turned into light sabers. Boys will be boys.
We ended our walk in Temple Gardens, where we learned about composting and raising chickens. I am always amazed by the questions I get regarding chickens - specifically chicken eggs. I've been asked on more than one occasion to crack an egg, just because a young person didn't believe that it was an actual egg that you could eat. These conversations always come dangerously close to a discussion about the birds and the bees. So these eggs become chicks, right? Well, you need a rooster for that.... Blank stares.
One of the Sunbeams decided to attempt hand feeding the chickens some of the popcorn we had just harvested. (Yes! We grew popcorn this summer and it turned out amazing.) I heard the best thing from Hannah that night - "It feels good to be brave!" Wisdom from a little girl feeding chickens.
The air is changing and the gardening season is coming to end. We'll be busy this winter, planning and teaching and growing little seedlings for spring.