A Busy Spring in the GardenPosted by Mary Curran
Spring has been a busy time in the Unquowa garden. PreK-3 learned that beans can be green, yellow and purple and planted seeds in recycled newspaper cups and in the garden. PreK-4 planted and harvested Easter egg and French Breakfast radishes. Kindergartners learned that flowers attract pollinators and planted marigolds from seeds that they collected in September. They also transplanted snapdragons in a new raised bed in our garden. In addition, 1st through 5th graders planted heirloom tomatoes, basil, Sugar Ann peas, cucumbers, purple haze and Nelson carrots, and heirloom lettuces. Thank you student volunteers who have been busy harvesting lettuce, arugula, radishes and a variety of herbs for the dining room!
Spring Has SprungPosted by Mary Faulkner
Trees are budding, colorful blossoms are popping out of the ground and the temperatures are rising! Spring is definitely in the air and in the fifth grade classroom. Seeds have been planted and will be cared for by the fifth grade students, until they are ready to be transplanted into our school’s garden. So far the class has started two varieties of heirloom tomatoes, sungolds and black cherries. Both are sweet and tasty varieties of cherry tomatoes. Also germinating at the moment is basil. The students are so excited for the plants to be sturdy enough and the weather to be warm enough, to put the plants in the ground. When the students return in the fall they will literally get a chance to enjoy the fruits of their labor!
Putting the Garden to BedPosted by Mary Faulkner
As one season ends and another begins, we notice that nature, in her own way, prepares herself. Leaves fall from trees, animals prepare for long cold winters by storing food and preparing dens, and we humans too, do many things as well to prepare. For people with gardens, one of those tasks is putting the garden to bed. PEL fellows Abby, Sarah and Michael led our fifth graders in that same task here at Unquowa. First, the fellows led students in a brainstorming discussion on why it is necessary to put a garden to bed. The students discussed the difference between annuals and perennials, why it is important to pull some plants and leave others and the importance of putting trellises and stakes away for use the following spring. Students were then led outside where they were put into assigned groups to complete different tasks. From clearing out beds, gathering the last of the harvest of vegetables and herbs for the kitchen, spreading compost for fall planting and gathering seeds for investigations and spring plantings, there were no idle hands. The students where excited and worked with enthusiasm, knowing all their hard work would lead to another great harvest next season! Thanks our PEL fellows and the fifth grade students for a job well done!
Busy In the GardenPosted by Mary Curran
PreK-4 students visited the garden in September and discovered a variety of late summer and fall flowers, vegetables and herbs. They enjoyed smelling lemon balm and chocolate mint by gently rubbing their fingers across the leaves. Students harvested green, purple and yellow wax beans for Chefs David and Jess and picked Asian pears from the lower branches of our espaliered tree. In addition, they enjoyed watering the garden by filling watering cans from the rain barrel. PreK-4 students were eager to return to the classroom and sample the delicious sweet pears they had harvested!
Fifth Grade Seed Savers Explore the GardenPosted by Mary Curran
This month, fifth graders were challenged to use a map to record plants growing in the Unquowa garden. They identified over 35 varieties of vegetables, fruits, flowers and herbs. Students wove their way through raised beds of heirloom lettuces, purple bumblebee tomatoes, Sugar Ann peas and yellow wax beans. In addition, many varieties of flowers and herbs are growing including nasturtiums, snapdragons, lemon thyme and chocolate mint.
Students also shelled true red cranberry beans that had been dried on the vine and harvested. This heirloom seed, known for its excellent flavor, was given to us by Chef Jess last spring. Thank you fifth grade for helping to preserve the heirloom seeds for future planting and to Chef Jess for sharing these beautiful red-purple beans from her garden!
Spring Is Here!Posted by Mary Curran
After a long, cold winter, spring has finally arrived in the Unquowa garden! April and May found PreK students planting Easter Egg radishes and three varieties of beans. Kindergartners started French marigolds from seeds for Mother’s Day and 1st – 4th graders learned about square foot gardening and planned their own herb and vegetable gardens. In addition, students planted Sugar Ann peas, potatoes, purple haze carrots, cucumbers and many varieties of heirloom lettuce. A special thank you to Mrs. Faulkner’s 5th graders who started heirloom tomatoes, peppers and basil for our garden this year and to Upper School volunteers who have done everything from harvesting lettuce to planting dahlias and herbs!