Reflections on a Garden

Gardeners must dance with feedback, play with results, turn as they learn.

Learning to think as a gardener is inseparable from the acts of gardening.

Learning how to garden is learning how to slow down.  

Wise is the person whose heart and mind listen to what Nature says.    

Time will tell, but we often fail to listen.

Michael P. Garofal

When it comes to education we, as a community, are so very excited to get every single soul involved!  Whether you are a sweet soul who is just reading this, one who has noticed the beautiful roses and iris and milkweed while driving up to drop your precious one off, one who has observed the old growth trees keeping watch over your babe while entrusted to the school, one who walks outside and can’t help but grab a node to sniff, one who likes to get down in the dirt and witness the plentiful worms in the amazing soil that surrounds our school, a parent who is brand new to the school and wonders about the greenhouse on the first tour, one who has gardened before and has so much to offer and might wonder where to begin, one who (thinks! He/she) has no clue about how to grow and or the benefits of teaching our babes the importance of knowing how grow our own food and share with other, this is your place!!  This is your community, your plant space, your way to explore with your Odyssey child who is actively involved and growing.

So many people have mentioned to me that they love to garden but “aren’t really good at it.”  NO SUCH THING!  In the garden, there is nothing perfect!  That, to me, is the best thing. In the aquaponics lab, there are guidelines to follow so that the fish may live as well as the plants but these guidelines are easily learned.

Gardening is all about learning, it is about going for it, experimentation, it is art in its best form, science based, love shaped.

This past year has been all about the love of watching growth, heartache and evolved learning of those who did not live, wonder and amazement of being able to shelter those green lives who were once sick back to health.  

Passionately, we made seed bombs with the seeds from the plentiful native plants surrounding the school (oh what a fun mess we made, squishing with toes and hands and so sorry to beautiful Samata and Ellen and Andy and Jim!)

Exploration of carnivorous plants was so much fun! Robin’s class is amazing and had more information for MY learning than could ever be found in a library.  

We released ladybugs with preschool, which was so magical for them in the moment.  Sadly, most passed from the heat of the greenhouse, and I do not tell this lightly, it is sad, but we did learn so much.  

A living cave was made. How fragile seeming those secretly strong willow trees are!

The classes learned about how invasive ivy is, may they always pull from the bottom and watch out for that poison ivy! They learned more about beautiful compost brown coffee earth than they ever wanted to but they diligently shoveled and transported to the abundant gardens surrounding the school.

Plentiful milkweed has been planted all about the school for the monarch population.

They tended to the fish in the aquaponics, cleaned out the media from the aquaponic beds, watered, fed, tended and loved.  It was a great year of survival for so many.  

Experimentation with the most important learning.  Learning to fail.  Learning to be in the dirt. Learning to be in the moment of tending the fragile life giving green.

We do hope you will join us.  There is no perfect, just love!

By Carrie Chisholm

Read more about the benefits of working with soil 


Odyssey School is an independent, non-profit school with a focus on whole child, emotionally intelligent, personalized curriculum for students in PreK-12.

Our mission is to prepare students, families, and educators to lead the 21st century with an authentic sense of self.

More about us...

Magnus Health Screening App
Click for the Magnus Health SMR Portal

Get In Touch

If you have questions about Odyssey’s mission, community, or programs, please give us a call! You can also contact us to schedule a tour, meet our teachers, our directors, and visit our learning spaces.          

Coronavirus Policies and Procedures

Odyssey School is excited to welcome our students back to campus for the 2020/21 school year. Please read our new policies and procedures for opening safely.


Odyssey's Executive Director sends out a quarterly newsletter of upcoming events, community news, and notable opportunities. Keep your ear to the ground and subscribe!