The school year continues to be in full swing and our first quarter in the garden has already come to an end. Here’s news on what’s been happening this past quarter.
What’s Going on in the Garden?
- Pond restoration. The pond has been cleaned and filled with new fish and water plants. We now have two different types of goldfish and mosquito fish to help control the mosquito larvae problem. We also have two water plants, which is a Giant Arrowhead (an aquatic freshwater herb, native to California) and a Water Hyacinth.
- 3-bin Composter restarts. Student council has begun to collect fruit and vegetable scraps during lunch time and composting them in layers with greens and browns in our garden’s 3-bin composting system.
- New rain water catchment system installed by The Watershed Project and community volunteers.
- Another successful pumpkin patch event for K and 1st graders during the week of Halloween. A big thank you to Andronico’s for donating over 135 pumpkins again this year.
What’s Going on in the Classes?
All classes this year started off the first quarter with spreading compost onto our garden beds in order to restore nutrients back in the beds, sowing seeds, and transplanting our starter plants for the Fall growing season. This Fall our garden is home to lettuces, collard greens, kales, chards, bok choy, cabbages, fava beans, mustard greens, and herbs among the others.
- Kindergarten – Kinders were introduced to the garden and are learning the basic needs of living things, how to take care of our edible plants (watering, digging), and finding slugs & snails. They’ve also begun to observe the apple trees in the garden. The first rain also was a time for singing and learning about the water cycle. In additon they’ve helped to plant our alfalfa and pea cover crop section.
- 1st – 1st graders have been practicing garden maintenance and working in teams to weed, water, rake leaves, and hunt garden pests. They helped to plant the Bok Choy and reviewed the stages of seed growth.They’ve also been adding to their journals – designing their dream gardens and tracing their favorite foods back to sun, soil, air, and water.
- 2nd – 2nd graders have been practicing scientific sketching in their journals and planted fava beans in three different environments in our garden, which are sun, shade, and partial shade.
- 3rd – 3rd graders helped to plant the lettuce mix that are growing bigger each week. They’ve reviewed different methods of planting, such as individual seed sowing versus broadcasting as well as transplanting. The 3rd grade classes have also begun graphing rainfall with bar graphs based on the rain gauge in the garden.
- 4th – 4th graders have planted chard and kale varieites. They’ve been taking measurements (height and number of leaves) and observations on how different environments (sun, shade, and partial shade) affect plant growth. They’ve also reviewed the concept of stewardship in the garden.
- 5th – 5th graders started the year with an introduction to food justice (how our food choices affect ourselves and other) and companion planting. They also studied the xylem and phloem in vascular plants as well as ways of classifying leaves.