Posted on: Thu, May 11, 2017 at 9:00
With (relatively) warmer temperatures, horticulture class has transitioned from inside the hoop house to outside in the school's Educational Garden. Weekly duties for most classes include collecting rain water, weeding class garden beds, checking on plant growth, and identifying pest damage. Students are observing the different leaf shapes, colors and textures of the plants and weeds growing in their gardens. Weeds are identified and students discuss their growing habits and whether or not they are edible. Insects and worms are also identified and discussed, with students learning which critters are helpful (earth worms)and which are harmful (grubs).
Here are a few highlights by class:
With Alicia's help, her Small School students have been turning under their cover crop and amending the soil in their class garden bed. Students have planted peas, in handmade paper pots, which will be transplanted into their bed.
Barrie and Carole's classes have been focused on worms. Children collected and prepared the worms' food (crushed eggshells, chopped up banana peels and apple cores, shredded recycled papers and collected composted soil) and they mixed it into a bed. They watered the soil to make it sufficiently damp for the worms (they now know worms need moisture). Then they put the worms into their new homes and covered them with damp cardboard.
Students in Julia's class planted peas, green cabbage, celery, and cucumbers in handmade paper pots. They discovered that a rabbit had eaten several of their peas, so the children resowed the seeds and built a fence around their garden bed.
Linda's class planted peas, red cabbage, chamomile, and mammoth grey sunflowers in handmade paper pots. They also transplanted their peas into their class garden and built a pea trellis from sticks they collected.
To tie into their Africa unit studies, Mike's class is planting mainly African plants. They planted Balady Celtuce (unique African plant, in the lettuce family, but grown mainly for its stem). They also sowed aloe, African hot peppers, broom corn and malabsorption spinach seeds in handmade paper pots. They learned about potato eye sprouts and cut up the sprouting potatoes with the appropriate number of eye sprouts per seed potato.
Sandy's class recently planted "seed tapes" of lettuce, radish and carrots that they made. Last month they planted peas in handmade paper pots, which they recently transplanted into their class garden. To support the pea shoots, students built a trellis from sticks they collected. Students also sowed calendula, Hopi dye sunflowers, and mouse melon cucumbers in hand made paper pots. They will be grown in the greenhouse until the weather warms.
Downtown in Miss Duke's class, students recently sowed bronze fennel, (seed they saved in the fall) and rat's tail radishes in clay pots. They also transplanted wild garlic and strawberries along the border of their bed. On foul weather days, students continue to work on their garden calendars and moon charts, which are nearly finished!
Mr. C's class collects rain water each week. They have continued to weed and turn under their cover crop. They weeded the garlic beds (between rain showers) and they've turned and sifted the compost. They seeded peas, leeks, lettuce, calendula, and sage into handmade paper pots. Students also made seed tapes of lettuce and carrots.