Friday, November 16, 2012

The Second Grade Classes are Introduced to the Garden

Today children from all of the four second grade classes visited the garden. We discussed what edible meant, their favorite vegetables and what vegetables we'd be planting and the concept of cool season vegetables.

The activities included:

  • writing in their garden journals, 
  • planting lettuce and radish seeds in recycled nursery 6-packs, 
  • amending the soil with compost and digging it in, 
  • planting seeds and seedlings in the amended bed, and
  • eating a sample of one of the vegetables in their classroom. 
The cool season vegetables that we'll be planting, which are some garden vocabulary words, include:
  • kale
  • broccoli
  • lettuce
  • sugar snap peas
  • beets
  • radishes
  • spinach
  • carrots
Other garden vocabulary includes:
  • compost
  • amending  
  • soil
  • trowel
  • hand rake
  • tools
  • seed starter mix
Some sentences from the children about what they did:
  • We planted lettuce seeds and radish seeds.
  • We put the compost into the soil to amend it and we used the trowel and hand rake to do it.
  • Over there we were amending the soil.
  • Over there we were planting seeds.
  • We were spinning old dirt and adding new dirt.
  • We planted carrots. We planted tiny carrot seeds.
  • We dug.
  • We flipped the dirt over. 
  • We mixed the soil. We had fun.
  • We were finding grubs.
Most of the time we had four adults helping in the garden-myself, Sara (the parent garden co-ordinator), Dagmar (another Master Gardener) and either a teacher/aide/parent from the participating class. Some teachers sent the whole class and some sent half with an aide or parent volunteer. We look forward to having more parent volunteers.

Each class took one or more 6-pack back to their class. A suggested follow-up is for the class to keep the seeds moist and to monitor their growth with a chart, i.e. when do they start seeing the plant and when do the first leaves appear.

It's great to finally have the children in the garden. Future activities include starting composting, planting more vegetables, starting an herb garden, starting a butterfly garden, planting some trumpet vines, etc. This garden, as all others, is a work in progress.

Note: two beds were planted by a local Boy Scout as part of an Eagle Project. They contain broccoli and squash. Most of the beds are covered by wire "cages" to deter squirrels.