What’s driving you crazy in your school garden? For this 1st grader, it’s a giant weed that refuses to be pulled out.


nelson pulling weeds


nelson pulling weeds2


nelson pulling weeds3



There’s a difference between the ongoing tasks of a school garden– mulching, watering, everyday weeding– that cause us stress, and the individual stressors that I like to call ‘tolerations’.


A toleration is something annoying or stressful that’s easily fixed, and once fixed, doesn’t need to be revisited again for a long time. For example, at Clay Elementary, we only could only have one hose running from our water spigot at a time because we didn’t have a splitter. Once we took half an hour to run to Lowe’s and buy the splitter, we never had to think about it again, and we can now water far-flung corners of our garden at the same time.


What are your garden’s tolerations? Is there a hole in your rain barrel? Does the head of your shovel keep falling off? Do kids repeatedly trip over an inconveniently located raised bed? Have everybody involved with your school garden make a list. For bonus points, you can mark which tolerations will take 10 minutes or less to fix.