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THE PRESIDENT: The Nomenclature Committee have prepared a list of 25 varieties, and the Novelty Committee as well. These have been tested and found satisfactory. The lists will be published in our next report.



At the beginning of my address, I confess I have nothing new to tell. If, however, I may place the old in different form, or lead someone to see a new relation of garden work to our youth, the ever-changing child of our public school, I shall then feel that I have not spoken in vain.

To be orthodox I should define education. In doing so I am not original, for I have borrowed an old saying which answers my purpose:

"Education is an effort to relate the child to his environment," and the work of gardening is one of the means which may be developed to that end.

Again," Education comes through what a child does, and says, and thinks, and feels, in the presence of the environment, which the teacher supplies," and I would go a step farther and add to this "what the ratepayers supply." After all, a great deal of the child's knowledge may be had by nature's method, and is not gotten from books. In educating, "The teacher teaches the child, the child educates himself. In being taught the child is passive; in being educated he is active. The thing to lay stress on is that teachers educate more, even if to gain the time for it they have to teach less. Education is self-expression, not impression alone. Every impression made by the teacher upon pupils should be followed by expression in some fashion by pupils."

In no better way could we apply the above principles of education, especially as work for summer, than by introduction of school gardening in some tangible form in our public school system.

It is strange that our country, which prides itself upon progressiveness, is so behind in establishing this line of work. The school garden idea is not a new one, for it was commended to the public in European universities early in the fifteenth century, and the noted educator, Comenius, maintained that a garden should be connected with every school. Pestalozzi and Froebel urged that all children should do garden work.

In all the leading European countries school gardens form a prominent part in their educational system, and only recently our Ontario Government, in the appointment of Prof. S. B. McCready to the Department of Nature Study at the Ontario. Agricultural College, and afterwards as Provincial Director of Elementary Agricultural Education, has already called attention to the commendable efforts of a distinctly conservative people to make closer adaptation of the rural school to the life of the country child. A more intimate acquaintance with Prof. McCready's purposes and plans must convince all that the new departure of the Provincial Department of Education is eminently wise.

The Province of Ontario has some thirty schools which are eligible for the grants. There are many more which deserve recognition. In many instances the work may be fragmentary and indefinite, due to misgivings and inexperience on the part of the teacher and prejudices of ratepayers. These, we are glad to say, will soon adjust themselves, since each year brings many Normal Trained Teachers

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in touch and sympathy with Nature Study and School Gardening as caried on at Guelph. In our county we have six gardens, and W. W. Ireland, P. S. Inspector for Lincoln County, says that at least ten gardens could be established if the teachers were qualified.

The school garden is a very desirable adjunct to the teaching of nature study and elementary agriculture. One does not really know a practical fact until it has been given practical application. Children will develop an intense interest in a school garden. Its place in the elementary school is to furnish a rational or working basis for a great deal of the work included in Nature Study. Much of the failure of Nature Study to accomplish what it ought has been due to its fragmentary character. Its greatest success as a school subject has been where the child's activities have been enlisted in the real business of its life. Rearing plants involves more of Nature than almost any activity in which the child may participate.

The problem of school gardening for the teacher is to make it the centre of as large and varied a circle of activities as possible. He is thus able to make much of the formal work of the school seem worth while to the child, thereby increasing the efficiency of his work. This gain in interest and efficiency in itself is sufficient to meet objection as to the lack of time and a crowded curriculum.

In the rural school the aim is both social and economic. It is social in the sense of creating a wholesome interest in country life. It is economic in the sense of stimulating activities along the line of the actual business of the community.

If elementary agriculture is ever to become efficient in the country schools, there must be a place for its practice. The school garden is the laboratory for such. School gardening in the country, therefore, has broad significance, and refers to any work directly or indirectly concerned with rearing plants. The country child has vastly more experience in this sort of work than the city child. And would he be content to do what the city child finds of great interest to himself? Again, he is ready to take up definite problems relating to the growth of plants and to do things that will help him to understand work that he has been doing or sees his father doing.

In the city the aim should be social rather than economic. Experience has shown that the gain in civic conscience which reduces vandalism and destructive activities would more than justify the necessary outlay for this purpose. A school garden in the city would also give indispensable material for nature study. It would also furnish much of the illustrative material otherwise given by charts and pictures. Indeed the amount expended in these devices might maintain a school garden.

If the lesson be one in art, nature study, scientific work, or observation, it will add much to the interest and efficiency of the work to have the objects.

The influence of the school garden does not stop with the school. Children carry the interest home, and often change unpromising situations and unsightly corners into places of beauty and health. This wholesome interest reacts upon their lives and makes them useful members of society. The friendly contact with the home brings a bond of sympathy between the school and the home. The children and the parents have interests in common and are not as far apart as my school days and yours might suggest.

In garden work we are taking a step in the direction of the open-air schools in Europe. Sketching, drawing, measuring, collecting, budding, weeding, are all exercises which assist in developing the body and mind. Great physical benefits are derived from the fresh air and sunshine, of which the growing child of the elementary school, who is kept so persistently and doggedly at his books, is too

often deprived. The test of education on the part of trustee-board or some fond parent is, generally, the written examination. Teachers are to blame, as they are anxious for their pupils to make a good show at the Entrance and Promotion examinations, and neglect much that would be most useful to the child.

Our Education of a few years ago was of such a nature that it crushed the spirit of the child, as it taught largely in the abstract and began at the wrong end. As Principal Scott used to say, The child upon completing his examinations said, “Thank God, I have finished with Botany," and he was, for he never touched the subject again. Andrew Stevenson most humorously quotes in the introduction of his book, "The Nature Poets," this skit, which serves to throw in bright relief the character of the child.

"See grandpa, my flower!" she cried;
"I found it in the grasses!"
And with a kindly smile the sage
Surveyed it through his glasses.

"Ah, yes," he said, "involucrate,
And all its florets ligulate,
Corolla gamopetalous,
Composite, exogenous,

A pretty specimen it is,
Taraxacum dens-leonis!"

She took the blossom back again,

His face a wistful eye on;

"I thought," she said, with quivery lip,

"It was a dandelion."

The child looks upon nature as a whole and is interested in life and living things.

The teaching of nature study and gardening will now be more correctly expressed by Walter Whitman's poem:

There was a child went forth every day

And the first object he looked upon, that object he became,

And that object became part of him for the day,

Or a certain part of the day,

Or for many years or stretching cycles of years.

The early lilacs became part of this child,

And grass, and white and red morning glories,

The white and red clover, and the song of the Phoebe-bird,

And the noisy brood of the barnyard, or by the mire of the pondside,
And the fish suspending themselves so curiously below there,

And the beautiful curious liquid,

And the water-plants with their graceful flat heads,

All became part of him.

And the apple tree covered with blossoms and the fruit afterward,

And wood-berries and the commonest weeds by the road,

The hurrying, tumbling waves, quick-broken crests, slapping

The horizon's edge, the flying sea-crow, the fragrance of salt marsh and sea mud,— These became part of that child who went forth every day and

Who now goes, and will always go, forth, every day.

You will, I hope, pardon several personal references which may be made from an intimate association for the past five years with the Rittenhouse School Gardens. What may be said will at least have this compensation, that it is real actual experience rather than theoretical knowledge. I wish to say that the generous gift by Mr. Rittenhouse of one acre of land to our school for garden purposes, as well as what

he did in beautifying the lawn and yard proper, were very strong factors in starting this work, and a broader educational policy has been the result.

We have three-quarters of an acre for our school garden. At the front we have a beautiful approach or design planted and tended by our caretaker.

Then come the individual plots for the third, fourth and fifth classes, which are six feet by ten. In these they grow flowers exclusively, arranged according to their taste, and previously planned by themselves. They are given assistance when needed, and suggestions are offered as to the arrangement. The smaller classes have plots about half this size and are required to plant their flowers according to the direction of their teacher.

As all the flowers are kept to the front this arrangement adds to the beauty of the garden. In a few weeks' time the ground will be covered with foliage and a profusion of color. Little labor is required, and all that will be necessary is for the children to watch their individual plots grow, admire their beauty, pluck some bouquets, and gather seeds.

Farther back we have the vegetable garden, which is marked off into several community plots, where all the leading and new varieties of vegetables are grown. The children help to get this ready by assistance in levelling, tilling, measuring and planting the stakes. They also bed out the little plantlets, sow the seeds in drills or hills as directed. The garden will, with four or five vigorous hoeing and weeding lessons, produce good crops of vegetables. Watering with anything other than the hoe is not known to our pupils. They have learned to till the soil in order to retain the moisture. In the centre of the garden we have a summer house built of lattice by the boys as part of their manual-training work in the spring, which is used in the summer for the little children's play-house. This is covered with vines of cucumber and cobea and is a nice, cool retreat in which they may eat their dinner or spend their play hour. Here they are in close proximity to their individual plot, and surrounded by beautiful flowers and plants.

Along one side of their individual plots we have a large experimental one for varieties of pumpkin and squash, and, on the other, our perennial border and wild flowers.

In the rear of the flower garden we grow our melons, which occupy about onefifth of the garden space. This is a most interesting experiment in several ways. It shows that garden work has a strong tendency to influence the moral tone of the school. Seldom is a melon taken, and, if so, it is not by the school children. Situated as our gardens are, open to the public, and visited constantly by our community and visitors, we must congratulate ourselves that so few depredations have been committed.

In our fruit plot at the rear of the garden we have several peach trees grown from the pit and budded by the boys, showing the development of the young peach tree; a row of grape vines, and several varieties of the smaller fruits.

In the forestry plot we have the seedling trees and the propagation of many shrubs from our yard.

Early in the autumn we have a Fall Fair, before the frost comes and while the flowers are still in their beauty. At the fair we have our basement filled with the products of the children's gardens, supplemented by fruits brought from their homes.

Each year a most creditable exhibit has been tastefully arranged by the children and teachers, and at least three or four hundred visitors testify as to its popularity. One whole day is most profitably spent in arranging this exhibit and viewing it.

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