Garden News

The school year continues to be in full swing and our first semester in the garden has already come to an end. Here’s news on what’s been happening since the start of the New Year. Continue to keep current with photographs, video, and updates @ educationoutsideafy.wordpress.com. (above photo: A veggie bouquet of kale, chard, and collards from the garden.)

What’s Going on in the Garden?

  • Pond restoration. The pond has been cleaned and filled with new fish and water plants thanks to the volunteer efforts of Sylvia Fung. We now have different types of goldfish for the students to observe during lunch.
  •  3-bin Composter restarts. 4th and 5th graders in student council continue to collect fruit and vegetable scraps during lunchtime and composting them in layers with greens and browns in our garden’s 3-bin composting system.
  • New rainwater catchment system installed by The Watershed Project and community volunteers.
  • Look out for news of future garden workdays on the weekend for second semester in April.
  • Volunteers are always needed. If you’d like to volunteer to water or to help out during garden class please contact the garden coordinator at afygardenblog@gmail.com. We can also provide you with a space to plant in exchange for volunteer hours.

What’s Going on in the Classes?

For the beginning of 2012, students are continuing to help maintain the garden during lunch and in garden class. We’ve been using our five senses and making observations about all the different components in a garden space – including curiosity about the gophers that have been emerging in the garden beds. In terms of what’s growing over the winter season, our collard greens, bok choy, chards, and cauliflowers are thriving.

  • Kindergarten – Kinders continue to learn about the seasons by drawing and comparing the apple trees in the summer versus winter. They’ve gone on shape hunts, learned about weeding, and have begun to use their five sense to explore naval oranges that are in season. They also went on a smelling tour of the garden as we pretended to be on a train ride – stopping and smelling different herbs in the garden. The “Sniff-Express” as one kinder noted.
  • 1st – 1st graders were given an introduction to composting and decomposition. Each class put together a compost bag to make predictions of what will decompose. They’ve been working hard in their garden journals sketching plants in the garden and identifying their parts, drawing compost cakes, writing their predictions for the compost bag, and recording their meals in drawings called “My Dinner At Home.” We also started nutritional yoga during rainy days, such as our carrot and broccoli stances.
  • 2nd – 2nd graders have also been reviewing composting and beginning to explore the world of insects. They went on a bug hunt in the garden to see what types of creatures live there, what they’re doing, and their habitat. They will continue to explore more about insects during the month of February in preparation for the butterflies that will come in March.
  • 3rd – 3rd graders have been working on “I wonder and I notice” statements in the garden. They planted radishes in January and harvested the bok choy, chard, and spinach. We cooked it up in garlic, salt, and olive oil and tasted the creation alongside with a slice of orange. We recently also teamed up with The Youth Stewardship Program through the San Francisco Parks and Recreation for a service learning project at Grand View Park. Students also learned more about native plants and what the City looked like prior to development during the field trip.
  • 4th – 4th graders explored different soils in an activity called “Sensual Soil.” They explored sand, clay, compost, and garden soil with 4 of the 5 senses and created/presented garden poems for each soil as a group. 4th graders are also continuing to learn more about the food chain and food web.
  • 5th – 5th graders started 2012 by learning about photosynthesis and cellular respiration in plants. They put together photosynthe – “skits” for the class. 5th graders also helped to plant radishes and rainbow chard in the garden.
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