By Jennifer De Freitas, Daycare Matters Editor
Dante Daycare’s Gardening Club discovered that the vegetables and herbs they were growing since March with Daycare Green Initiative Advisor, Maddie Guerlain, were stolen not too long after they transplanted them outdoors.
Students say the theft occurred sometime between May 31, when the Gardening Club transplanted their vegetable plants outside on the school’s playground, and June 3, when Daycare Educator Ms. Monique and four Gardening Club students went to water their produce, which included tomatoes, eggplants, peppers and leeks. Students were shocked at the sight of their missing plants.
“Everything was gone from our soil bed,” said Ms. Monique. “The only things left behind and thrown to the ground were two sunflowers I had brought from home to decorate our garden, one weak tomato plant and one weak basil plant,” continued Ms. Monique.
Ms. Monique says wind was not a factor. Someone purposely dug out all of the daycare’s vegetables and herbs because there were no roots in the soil and no plants on the surrounding grass. Ms. Monique believes the culprit is a gardening enthusiast.
“The person passed their hand all over the soil, but at one corner of the soil bed, there was a curved mark from a shovel,” said Ms. Monique.
The following Tuesday, June 7, the Gardening Club, Ms. Monique and Miss Maddie all agreed to let out their frustrations by writing notes and fastening them to the fence protecting the soil bed. As the saying goes, a criminal always returns to the scene of the crime.
Students expressed their disappointment and pleaded with the thief to return their vegetables.
One student wrote:
Dear person who stole our plants,
We are very young. We started planting these vegetables in March. We are all very mad. Please don’t do it again. Give us back our vegetables.
From Dante Daycare Gardening Club
Some students were so disappointed with their vegetables having gone missing that they wrote about the experience in their journals.
“It really hurts me that the kids had to experience this,” said Ms. Monique.
NOT GIVING UP
Despite the very disappointing situation, students did not get discouraged. After tying their notes to the fence, they planted Miss Maddie’s left over seeds. Students planted many flowers, herbs and vegetables, including lettuce, Calendula, Morning Glory and spinach.