Sunday, February 3, 2013

More Broccoli!

The lesson on January 30 focused on the broccoli bed and the worm bin.  The kids also amended one of the beds for future planting and planted nasturtium seeds.

As we did the week before with the other half of each class, some kids measured the perimeter of the bed and the height of the plants and we all looked at the broccoli plants. Some plants still had green florets or buds, others had yellow flowers and some flowers had fallen off. We picked some green florets from a couple of plants to extend the production. This week several happy bees were visiting the flowers. The kids learned that they can eat all parts of the plant-the stem, leaves, florets and flowers. Today we served them parts of stems, flowers and florets. The flowers were very popular!

I had brought some worms from my compost bin to add to our worm bin. Several kids enjoyed counting them and naming them! Other kids added greens and browns to the bin and tore them into small pieces. At the end of the morning, the kids added the worms and water to the bin. The bin needs to be kept moist, like a damp sponge, so things decompose and so the worms don't dry out.

If you want your own worm bin, you can make one from a plastic Rubbermaid-type container, or purchase one from LA City Department of Sanitation at their compost sales events held in Griffith Park. There are two in February. Composting is an easy way to recycle your kitchen waste and a good learning opportunity for the kids. In addition, you can add compost to the garden to improve your soil.

We amended an empty bed with compost from Whole Foods. Raised beds need to have the soil amended annually to add nutrients to the soil. The kids have taken out most of the grubs that were in the bed. As the kids should be able to tell you, grubs eat the roots of plants.

Today's journal activity: the kids copied a drawing of a broccoli plant and labeled the parts, they wrote the word broccoli and at least one sentence about what we did in the garden.

The kids had several opportunities to taste broccoli today thanks to my shopping trip to Vons. The kids act like broccoli is candy! They love it! Note to parents: serve broccoli as a snack, with or without ranch dressing, depending on your child's taste. Even better, buy a plant or two at the local nursery and grow your own. Then you can eat the yellow flowers as well as the green flowerets! You can use the flowers in salads just like you can use nasturtiums and pansies.  Also, steam or saute all of the parts of the broccoli.

Please let me know if any of you would wish to help purchase some vegetables for next month's tasting. One goal is to have the kids sample every type of vegetable that we are growing and we don't have enough of our own to do this.

Thanks again to our parent volunteers, the teachers for sharing their kids and of course, the kids! They are enthusiastic workers!


"Ms. Marie"

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