4th Grade Fall Garden visits

All of the 4th graders came out to visit the gardens last week They learned about how potatoes grow, what it means when the turn green, then and dug up the potatoes they planted last spring. While there were not many of them, it was still exciting to find them hiding in the dirt.

In the garden classroom they looked for weeds. Each group picked a spot to dig up some soil. They put it in a pot to bring back to their classrooms and see if anything grows. There is most likely a whole bunch of weeds seeds in any soil sample, so we look forward to seeing what pops up!

In the vegetable garden they looked around to see where you would find seeds for different plants: tomatoes, cucumbers, peppers, eggplant, and squash all have seeds inside. Lettuce and carrots (if you let them grow past when they would have been ready to pick) will grow flowers and the seeds are in the flowers. For beans and corn, the beans and corn kernels are the seeds!

Each group picked something from the garden and we planted exactly 10 seeds in small pots to bring back to the classroom. We’ll see what percentage of the seeds we planted sprout.

Thank you to all of our amazing volunteers, without whom none of this would be possible: Jessie Bennett, Bonne Thompson, Florence Wang, Jeff Sinsay, Malynda Roberto, Jenny Kresse, Jess Smith, and Kadir Ozkan!

Kindergarteners visit the gardens

We had so much fun with the new kindergarteners in both gardens last Friday!

In the garden classroom, they explored the garden, looking for signs of fall. They also completed a fall scavenger hunt to find things like blooming flowers, fall colored leaves, seed pods, flower buds, mushrooms, dried up flowers and leaves, and fall colored leaves.

In the vegetable garden, they saw that we are growing tomatoes, eggplant, peppers, kale, beans, popcorn, lettuce, carrots, herbs, and squash. We also saw a cabbage white caterpillar and some ladybug larvae.

In their final activity, they got to be scientists and used magnifying glasses to carefully observe and draw some different types of seeds in vegetables and flowers.

Thank you to all of our wonderful parent volunteers for
coming out to make this possible!
Christine Burke, Laura Conover, Mike Cummings, Cynthia DeCambre, Taylor Fleming, Philip Jones, Karla Saidnawey, Bonne Thompson, Maya Tremiszewska, Julie Waters, Hillary Wyon , and Kristen Zecchi

Community comes together for garden improvements

We are so grateful for all of the volunteers that help maintain our gardens each year!

From families that sign up to water and weed during the summer, to parents and grandparents that help out during classroom garden visits to those who help with special projects, we are lucky to have such a wonderful community that comes together to make it all happen.

Burbank grandparent, Norm Karsten donated his time and skills to build 8 clear-sided planter boxes, so we can see what’s happening underground.

Last summer, after the covered walkway to the modulars was installed, we needed to empty one of the huge planter boxes to move it to the other side of the walkway. Several parents worked together to dig out all the plants, move the boxes, and refill them.

After the boxes were moved, a new path was put in on the other side of the boxes. The landscape committee also works to ensure that the paths are cared for, the beds are mulched, and the hoses work properly.

After several years, the old stumps began to rot, so a group of parents and students worked together to replace them with new stumps donated by the DPW.

We’ve been doing lots of weeding and working to fix up the gardens before everyone comes back to school. Thank you to the garden committee, the landscape committee, our summer garden volunteers, and everyone who has helped to make our gardens a very special place!

Dedication of Tricia’s Nook

On Friday, May 31, 2019 many students, families, and teachers gathered around the Garden Classroom for a Garden Party and special dedication to honor Dr. Tricia Clifford. During her eight years as Burbank principal, Dr. Clifford did so much for the school and played a key role in supporting the building and use of our school gardens.

PTA Co-President Seetha Burtner announced the naming of a new bench and arbor feature in the garden as “Dr. Tricia Clifford’s Nook” (affectionately known as “Tricia’s Nook”) to honor her nurturing of Burbank’s gardens and children. Dr. Clifford was invited to place an inscribed rock in the garden nook and unveil the new bench.

“Tricia’s Nook” is a delightful spot to sit and enjoy views of the garden – take a moment to try it!  

4th grade students dig up potatoes

On a chilly November day, the 4th graders visited the gardens to harvest potatoes and help prepare the garden for the coming winter.

A week before Thanksgiving, seemed like a fitting time to learn about the potato.  This plant was first farmed in Peru by the Incas and was brought to Europe by the Spanish.

It later made its way back across the Atlantic to North America, but not in time to be eaten at the first Thanksgiving in Plymouth.  We learned about the parts of the potato plant and that while it can be grown from a seed, most potatoes grow from other potatoes underground.

We dumped out the sacks of potatoes that had been planted in the spring by last year’s 4th graders and found that they had spread underground!

There were so many of them!  We dug the potatoes out from the dirt and saw all shapes and sizes – from the size of marbles, up to a few inches.

We also talked about our responsibility to the environment, and how important our immediate surroundings are.  We collected the painted stones that students made last year for the  “Only One You” exhibit and put them in a safe place for the cold, snowy months ahead.  Look for them outside again in the Garden Classroom next spring!