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

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!

First graders look for signs of fall and examine pumpkins

First graders had a great time examining pumpkins, gourds and squashes. They especially loved exploring the seeds and the process pumpkins go through from seed to pumpkin. They measured, described, and drew a pumpkin, squash or gourd and answered more scientific questions.

They also explored the gardens for signs of fall. Many students found leaves, moss, sticks, and decaying vegetables. They also learned the process a maple tree goes through from season to season. They especially found it interesting how maple sugaring happens in March. They also loved the beautiful colors we find during fall.

In the vegetable garden, they got to see what happens when you can’t get into the garden to weed all summer long. Those tiny weeds we see in June are taller than them by October!

We also looked for bugs and signs that bugs had been there. After noticing some holes in the radish leaves, we guessed that there may have been some caterpillars there. We turned over a few of the leaves, and found a caterpillar egg!

 

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

3rd grade learns about plants used by the Wampanoag

This October, all of the 3rd grade classes came out to visit both gardens. To go along with their studies of the Native Americans of this area, we looked in both gardens for plants that the Wampanoag use for food and medicine.

We learned that some of the giant weeds (taller than the kids and parent volunteers!) that took over part of the vegetable garden this summer are Pigweed, which is a type of Amaranth. Amaranth is valued for its edible leaves and seeds. The seeds are very high in protein and nutrients and have been eaten for thousands of years by many, including the Wampanoag. We rubbed the flower buds between our fingers to find the tiny black and brown seeds.

We talked about how the “Three Sisters” (corn, beans, and squash) are a great combination of crops to grow. They all store well through the winter, they nutritionally complement each other, and they help each other grow.

The corn provides support for the beans, to help them get more sun and up off the ground, away from hungry animals. The large squash leaves shade the soil to prevent weeds from growing and keep water in the soil. And the beans are able to take nitrogen from the air and put it into the soil, to help fertilize the other plants.

In the Garden Classroom we found several plants used by the Wampanoag, including sage, coneflower, milkweed, bee balm, and yarrow.

Then, we picked some dried corn off of a corn cob to grind with a mortar and pestle.

Food preparation was a lot of work! With the help of everyone in the class, we would have had just enough ground corn for one batch of cornbread.

Thank you to our amazing volunteers for helping to make all of this possible: Karl Scherrer, Florence Wang, Narine van Hal, Kareem Feagin, Seetha Burtner, Harriet Wong, Liane Brecknock, and Jidong Liu.