Friday, November 8, 2013

Gardening with Ms. Smith's 5th graders

This week Ms. Smith's class visited the lower garden and also started their study of Thomas Jefferson's garden.  In California we are lucky to be able to grow vegetables year round. We discussed that we are now planting cool season vegetables such as lettuce, broccoli, kale, radishes, beets, cabbage, cauliflower and peas. (Tomatoes are a warm season veggie.)

Thomas Jefferson, the 3rd president, retired to his plantation at Monticello, VA in 1809.  His vegetable garden there is 1,000 feet long. We discussed that Jefferson was a horticulturist and seed saver. I demonstrated how I am saving seeds and explained that we will do that at school. We are planting heirloom seeds that come from the 19th century. We discussed that heirlooms are something that has been passed down from prior generations and this is what's happened to the seeds that I purchased from the Monticello store.  We discussed that growing your own vegetables or buying them at the farmers' market can lead to more variety. I showed them red and yellow beets. At first some kids thought these were radishes and indeed they look like big radishes. This class is planting early Siberian kale. I also introduced the kids to worm composting and they enjoyed investigating the worms that are eating vegetable and fruit scraps. The kids enjoyed tasting mint and chives from the butterfly garden!

1 comment:

  1. Thank you Marie for creating this site. I will be sure all the parents have access to it. The kids were so excited about gardening last week and we are excited to do some additional research about Jefferson; "the horticulturalist" and learn about the amazing grounds and architecture of Monticello.