Saturday, March 19, 2011

How does your garden grow?

There is probably no better classroom than a growing garden and there are countless lessons to be learned!

It's impossible to not brag a little about the phenomenal learning garden at my son's school. Those kids know more about organic gardening, composting, and the life cycle of monarch butterflies, than most adults. Every student gets to have a very hands on experience. They are involved with all the planting and harvesting, with lots of help from a very dedicated group of parents.
Each grade has specific jobs in the garden. This year I get to explore the curriculums for both 3rd and 2nd grades (because D is in a 2nd/3rd combo class). Third graders are learning about preserving heirloom plant varieties by harvesting and collecting seeds. Second graders are mastering the fine art of composting, and man they love turning the compost bins!

Who doesn't love to dig around in the worm bin? That thing is loaded with red wigglers! We also have real worm composters. You know, the kinds that separate the castings from the worm tea.

The first graders planted pumpkins in a spiral pattern. Second graders planted rainbow flower beds (cross your fingers the rest of the varieties pop up), to lure pollinators to the garden. Third graders learned about Native American planting methods and planted "3 Sisters" style beds, where they are growing corn, beans, and squash. Each year the kids learn different lessons in the garden. We have an awesome curriculum that works hand in hand with California State standards and with what students are learning in their classrooms.
Did I tell you..... The school is a recognized monarch butterfly waystation? How cool is that?! The monarch society actually came to the school and presented the students with a plaque noting the campus as a stop for migrating butterflies. Caterpillars came, ate all the milkweed, emerged from their cocoons, and have gone on their way. A couple weeks ago the garden was full of caterpillars!

Amazing things happen in this garden! The kids get to taste everything they grow. Fifth graders occasionally host farmers markets (to raise money for their end of the year party). They sell fruits, vegetables, and seedlings. Nothing tastes better than food you've grown yourself.... and I know a whole bunch of 8 and 9 year olds who would agree completely!

Reduce  Reuse  Recycle


Melissa said...

I'm thoroughly impressed, that's awesome! Can I go to that school? My poor herbs aren't doing so well since my patio doesn't get ANY direct sunlight ever.

Danielle- Second Wind Vintage said...

D is pretty lucky to go to such an awesome school. I think he forgets sometimes. Do you have a kitchen window you could put your poor herbs in?

Post a Comment

Related Posts with Thumbnails