Edible Peace Patch Blogs

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Wednesday, October 28, 2015

This Wednesday at Sanderlin the kids learned about seeds. The weather started out gloomy and drizzly, but soon the sun came out just in time for the kids to "be" a seed, stretch out their arms like they're sprouting, and turn to face the sun just like a flower might. The kids liked this so much we "grew into a plant" several times! We learned what common fruits have seeds--like peaches, oranges, and apples--and how a seed might get into the ground to grow--through the activities of squirrels, birds, and insects. We talked about what a seed needs to grow, and then it was time to get our hands in the dirt! The kids had lots of fun planting broccoli and radishes! One student very excitedly and proudly announced that he had recently planted black eyed peas with his grandparents; another student wanted to stay by the garden bed to watch the seed he planted grow. It's so wonderful to hear students so excited about gardening. In the coming weeks, we will be observing the growth of our garden and talking about the very important role of pollinators.

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

This Wednesday at Sanderlin we had a garden work day. The weather was absolutely beautiful, with cool breezes and clear blue skies, and we had many hands show up to help set up and maintain the garden! Today we focused on weeding, adding fresh soil to garden pathways to make them safer and more comfortable to walk on, and on building a raised garden bed. To build the bed, we first start with a level layer of soil, upon which we place cardboard to block any weeds. We construct the wooden frame, place it on top of the cardboard at our chosen site, and line it with pond liner. After that we fill the bed with a thick layer of mulch, followed by layers of soil-builder, fresh fruit and vegetable scraps, ash, and coffee grounds. These will all decompose and create a wonderful soil full of nutrients for the plants! To top it all off, we finish with a thick layer of seaweed, which will retain moisture and help enrich the soil as it also breaks down.

The kids did not come out today but we are very excited for next week when we will be learning about seeds!

Freshly pruned banana trees!
A layer of cardboard

 Building the wooden frame

A layer of yummy and nutritious carrot, spinach, apple, and pineapple scraps!
A freshly made bed capped with seaweed. We are almost ready for planting!

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

October 14th Pre-K's First Adventure in the Garden

Last Thursday Ms Liz's wonderful Pre-K class had a great time exploring the garden at Sanderlin. We first asked the students what they think some garden rules might be. They hit the nail on the head with rules like "No kicking the plants" and "Don't eat the soil".  After we had outlined the safety guidelines we split up into three groups to learn about soil! 

The students sampled soil from the field, the garden beds, and the mulch pile and observed the differences in each. They noticed soil from the field was dry and sandy while soil from the mulch was dark and moist. We learned that plants usually prefer the darker wetter soil to grow in and that led us to talk about compost. 

The students learned how important compost is for the plants. After a brief explanation I asked again what compost is and one student yelled out, "old food!" and that led us into a conversation on the usefulness of "old food".

We learned that water collects nutrients from the soil and is then absorbed by the plants, just like when we eat a smoothie, the water is filled with vitamins that help us grow. To this one student remarked, "We're just like the plants!" 

At the end of the lesson we picked some beautiful bananas and brought them to Ms Liz's class for them to ripen and be enjoyed by everyone. 

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

First day back in the garden

Today was our first day in the garden with the students for this semester and it was so great! All the second graders filled the garden with their energy and smiles. Even the weather was perfect to go along with our first day back. The students were quick to observe the changes in the garden from the last time they had been out there and they were eggar to being exploring. We started by collecting different dirt samples from around the garden. We collected compost dirt, regular dirt, and some dirt from the garden itself. The students then took time to observe each dirt sample and it's characteristics and write and draw their observations. We also took some time today to walk around the garden a bit and just check things out. Today was very exciting and it was so great to meet all the kids! I'm looking forward to what this semester of gardening has in store.