Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Making Earth-friendly Paper Pots and More

Today the kids made paper pots and planted bean seeds in them. They are earth-friendly because you are reusing newspaper instead of recycling it and instead of using peat or other kinds of pots. This "recipe" is from "the book of Gardening Projects for Kids" written by Whitney Cohen and John Fisher of Life Lab. (This is an easy to use guide of fun projects that parents and kids can do together).
1) Cut newspaper into strips 3" x10";
2) Wrap newspaper around a frozen juice can, spice container, etc, leaving about 1 1/2 " on one edge for the bottom of the pot.
3) Fold in the part hanging over the bottom. (Use tape if you wish, but it's not necessary).
4) Fill the pot with either seed-starting mix or potting soil.
5) Plant seeds according to packet directions. Label the pots.
6) When seedlings are ready to transplant, you can peel away the paper or plant the entire pot in the ground-just bury all of the paper.

Note: the kids planted bean seeds so they can just keep the pot outside but don't forget to keep the soil wet. The plants should be watered as soon as they get home.  It'll take about 10 days before the plant will emerge.

Other things we did today: we observed the garden and saw what had changed. The kids liked the "new" seats that two second grade moms, Rachel and Christine, had sanded and polyurethaned. The kids also liked the newly painted vines on the shade structure! They also observed the wood chips, mulch, that had been added to the paths. They learned that mulch keeps plant roots cool, helps people water less often and prevents weeds from growing.

The kids also planted pumpkin and sunflower seeds as well as tomato and pepper plants that were donated by Life Lab.
One of the boys brought a caterpillar that his mom had found and let it go in the butterfly garden.

Finally, they learned what a banquet was--a feast--which is what we'll have next week!

Thanks to community volunteers Jack Sanders and Gretchen Arnold. Thanks to parent volunteers Hiroko and Jaylene.
We were happy to have a visit from Yvonne Savio, Common Ground Program Manager for UCCE.

Blogs from some of the kids follow in the next post.

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