Edible Peace Patch Blogs

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Friday, November 28, 2014

Thanksgiving for Curiosity

School was out this week for Thanksgiving, and in the spirit of Thanksgiving I am thankful for the kindergartners whom I've had the pleasure to introduce to Sanderlin's Peace Patch garden in these past few months. I am blessed by their curiosity and their openness to new ideas. I am grateful for the joy with which they approach the garden. I am glad to be part of an organization cultivating in the next generation of St. Petersburg's young people a value for healthy relationships with the natural world. I am thankful for those young people.

One day in September, the children were excited about the opportunity to plant some sweet pea seeds. The seeds have sprouted into thriving young plants in the time since then. Over those months, my fellow volunteers and I had the opportunity to plant metaphorical seeds in the minds of the students, seeds that I know may sprout into a healthy respect for gardening. For me, that is something to be thankful for.

Monday, November 24, 2014

Pre-Thanksgiving Work-day

Although our students had today off the garden still needed some TLC. A few of us headed out to our regular shifts to take care of some much needed tasks around the garden.

One brave Peace-Patcher got to spreading the new mulch across the pathways and beds to support them and prevent further sinking. A lot tough scooping and pitch-fork maneuvering was done.

The rest of us got to tending the beds that had become overgrown. Here are a few taking care of the squash area by the papaya tree.

I worked on a bed where we had discovered some "volunteer" red lettuce had begun to sprout! So I cleared the space to encourage its growth. Hopefully a few more friends will begin to sprout now that the bed has the room. Another helpful gardener staked near the young plants and labeled them.

The best part was all the up-close and personal time we had with the earth this morning. I even had a little frog friend hang out while I weeded!

It was wonderful weather and a fun time taking care of our lovely space.

The next week we all return to the garden will be our last class. It's hard to believe time has gone by so quickly!


Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Measuring in the garden

This week we worked to compound the last few weeks lessons related to the scientific method. It started with garden walks and asking questions, moving on to recording observations, and now measuring changes. Our students are really making strides in their confidence in the garden, they are more familiar with us and with the plants and are increasingly able to accurately describe what's going on in our little peace patch.

Each student has a plant they're focusing on. Here a student is checking in on their radish. This was one of the radishes we had planted at the very beginning of our time in the garden (about the second week), which is now almost ready to be picked. He was noticing things like the larger root, healthier leaves, and increased spread. He wrote all of this down and reported back to us in the group.

We've also begun to use the journals each week. This has really shown our students writing and drawing abilities. Having the opportunity to write down what they see and draw pictures is great practice! I'm impressed with their patience with spelling new words and courage to share their diagrams.

I love seeing how science, language arts, and art can all come together in the 25 minutes we have together on Monday mornings.

Here's to next week!

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Observation and Weeding

Monday of this week was cool and cloudy. Our first class came out and they were excited to start learning our lesson for this week. Our lesson was very similar to the past few weeks. We went back to the plants they measured last week and observed if there were any changes from one week to the next. Most of the students didn't see much change from one week to the next, but the students who observed the radish noticed it had grown bigger. 

In this image one of the Zach is telling my his observations about the plant. Then he made a hypothesis about what will be different next week. He is looking at one of the radish plants our class planted the second week of lessons. 

After the students looked over their plant for the second week and discussed with me changes and similarities they wrote about it in their journal. With this work done and time still left I thought it would be fun to let the students get their hands dirty! I brought my group over to a bed over grown with weeds and showed them how to properly pull a weed getting as much of the root as possible. While we were pulling weeds the students told me why we need to take care of the beds and what weeds do to the plants. At the end of the lesson I had my students make a hypotheses about what the bed we weeded will look like next week. Will there be more weeds? 

Right before it was time for the students to finish their lesson it started to rain and we only had one class come out. Hopefully our next few weeks will be better weather so we can finish up all the lessons with our classes! 

Until next week,

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

This week we got into even more detail about our garden, making specific observations, taking measurements, and formulating hypothesis we could track in the next few weeks. 

Each student had their own plant to observe:

 They were able to use their eyes, hands, and nose to take notes and make diagrams.

Once we were done we even had time for a quick bug-hunt around the garden and to check out our un-ripe papaya and bananas!

And, as always, time for silly pictures:

It's be really wonderful to be so close with our garden these past weeks. By really getting to know it we are all able to connect deeper to our neighbordhood and each other.

See you next week!

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Friday, October 31
Pollinators Lesson

The students had a very exciting time learning about the various types of pollinators and the process they have in the life cycle of the plant. They had a lot of fun spotting the many different pollinators such as bees. This seemed to have been their favorite part because they got the run around while exploring.
They learned how pollen is transferred within the plant from the Anther to the Pistil. They also learned that after germination occurs, fruit will often be produced. 

It was another exciting day at the Edible Peace Patch and the children were elated to have leaned so much while having fun. 

This week in the garden we're talking all about the plant cycle which lead us to a lot, and a lot, of questions! We wanted to start thinking about things that are going in our garden, especially with seeds we planted just a few weeks ago.

So we started out with a walk around the garden. Each group member took a turn taking us to a new spot and showed us things that they observed in that area. Every one was able to see something new, and unique about each place; whether it was new growth, certain bugs, or damage.

In each location we brainstormed questions we could ask about the things we saw. Like why are some of our pineapple plants smaller than others? What could be affecting their growth?

Or we would see things like plants with 'holes' in them and wonder what/who could be causing this kind of damage and why (maybe Pab can help us out with this one!).

After our walks they had time to record one observation, a corresponding question, and a hypothesis that could be tested to understand the observation better.

Looking forward to what next week brings in the garden!

Stay well,

Monday, November 3, 2014

What did we do in the garden today?
We asked questions! about the garden of course.

We started off learning about the Scientific Method, then we toured the garden, and each student asked a question about a specific part of the garden. 
We then formulated our hypotheses, and talked about how we could test these, then we learned a couple of ways to analyze our data, and what happens with our hypotheses!

Here are some third graders researching the bananas from the tree.
The banana tree is always favorite among my students at Sanderlin.

Here is our team huddle to formulate our last group question- which was "how long does it take for a pineapple plant to grow?"

The kids were full of interesting questions, and even more full of hypotheses, which we learned today, are predictions
Thank you!
Kendal Q