This spring, Ancona was fortunate to win one of ten grants given nationally by the Herb Society of America. The grant paid for the supplies needed to build this rolling herb garden destined for our playground. Ancona grandparent Gary Neighbors did the carpentry. Students filled it with growing mix and transplanted in lavender, chamomile, mint, basil, rosemary, thyme, and lemon sorrel.

The grant also supported a series of garden lessons, such as making our own herbal tea blends and preparing a salad with a fresh-herb vinaigrette. The focus wasn’t just on herbs’ flavors but on learning to mindfully prepare tea and other traditional dishes by hand. With herbs, a big part of the experience comes from eating slowly and savoring the freshness.

Finally, students started enough lavender and chamomile plants for third through sixth grade students to take one of each home.