Thursday, October 31, 2013

Conn's class and Ms. Keller's class learn about Thomas Jefferson the horticulturist

This week the 5th grade students in Ms. Conn's class and Ms. Keller's class began their study of Thomas Jefferson, the horticulturist. They learned that Jefferson, our third president, retired to Monticello, VA. where he had a 1,000 foot long garden that was taken care of by slaves.  Even as president, Jefferson was interested in horticulture. We discussed the concept of heirloom seeds and seed saving. The kids are currently studying Lewis and Clark and I told them that Jefferson asked them to bring back seeds from their explorations.

Ms. Conn's class has planted Marrowfat Pea seeds and Ms. Keller's class has planted China Rose Winter Radish seeds. These are heirloom seeds. Jefferson grew marrowfat peas during his retirement, 1809-1826. The radish is similar to what Jefferson planted.

Today Tyler, Exie and Jamie measured 1,000 feet on the lower yard. They determined that it is over twice the length of the distance from the garden fence to the end of the yard. This was similar to the results from Ms. Keller's measurers.

The kids enjoyed looking at the butterfly garden in the lower garden area. There are many herbs as well as other plants to attract butterflies.  Some kids saw a monarch butterfly caterpillar and others saw a lizard. They also enjoyed tasting from the garden. They ate strawberry guavas, mint and arugula.

We also reviewed the concept of composting.

Note: I purchased the seeds for this study from the Monticello website. It has lots of useful information.

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