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

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!

2nd Graders learn about life cycles and how seeds travel

The second graders were very enthusiastic this fall, braving the elements to learn outside!
The students were very keen to share their knowledge of the changing seasons, in particular discussing the signs of autumn. They were encouraged to search for those many different signs of fall and share with the other members of their group.

It was wonderful for them to make the connection of the life cycle of plants and insects, specifically going back to their lesson from first grade, that of the milkweed plant and the important part it plays in attracting monarch butterflies. The herb garden is always a popular area, the students enjoying the smells of the different herbs!

With the many different signs of fall, the notion of seed dispersal was prevalent in their discoveries. They loved learning about the different ways seeds travel and finding out that the creation of Velcro was inspired by the bur!

In the vegetable garden, we found seeds in the flower buds of the giant weeds, in the dried up flowers of the garlic chives, and where the flowers used to be on the dill. We also saw tiny baby dill plants growing where the seeds were falling on the soil.

We even saw some tomato plants that grew from where tomatoes had dropped to the ground last year.

Thank you to all of our parent volunteers for making these garden visits possible!

Kindergarteners plant garlic and crocus bulbs

It was a great time had by all. The students loved getting their hands in the dirt, planting crocuses, and are already looking forward to the spring to see their flowers bloom.

The children discovered the many varying types of seeds, learned about how similar or different they were and where to find them in fruit, vegetables and flowers.

They became little scientists when asked to draw their favorite, showing where the seeds were.

The students loved exploring the garden classroom searching for all the wonderful items on their scavenger sheets such as seed pods, mushrooms, ferns, fall colored leaves and dried up flowers.

In the vegetable garden, we did a few of the tasks that farmers do in the fall. We harvested some lettuce and radishes. Then we planted garlic. Most of the food we grow is planted in the spring, but garlic, like crocus bulbs, is planted in the fall. We made sure to plant our cloves with the shoot end pointing up and the root end pointing down. We can’t wait to see the green shoot start to come up in early spring!

Thank you to all of our parent volunteers for making this possible!