Fifteen sixth, seventh and eighth graders from Ms. Delano’s advisory group upstairs at HTMMA spent three hours on a recent Wednesday working in Explorer’s garden. They were cheerful, energetic, kind, thoughtful and industrious, and we can’t thank them enough! These hard-working middle schoolers shoveled, hauled and spread a truckload of compost on vegetable beds, weeded pathways, loosened soil, re-covered vegetable cages with bird netting to keep out the squirrels, and planted two beds of lettuce and radishes for our food service program. We can’t wait till they come back to work and learn again. Thank you!!!
Kindergarteners from Mrs. Hawke’s and Manguil’s class, and Ms. Schultz’s class recently met some very important garden workers — worms! After reading the book, Worms at Work, each class met Explorer’s Red Wiggler Worms, the worms that live in our worm composter and make rich fertilizer for the school garden. Red wigglers eat vegetative garbage and turn it into worm castings. Some students loved meeting the worms. Others were less sure they wanted to make their acquaintance. Reluctant worm friends just peeked over their friends shoulders at the worms, and sometimes ventured to poke a finger at their soft bodies. Others took to worms like worms to soil!
Mrs. Manguil’s group also dug in their garden bed looking for night crawlers, the big fat brown worms that live in much of our garden and aerate the soil. Alas — no night crawlers on the day we looked! But the students’ digging for worms helped aerate the garden, too, mixing good compost and air into the moist soil. Now the soil will be ready for planting.
Mrs. Rothschild’s first graders and Ms. Lim’s fourth graders will be working on expanding our butterfly garden this year. Pairing up weekly, with each first grader paired with a fourth grade buddy, half the buddy class pairs go out into the garden while the other half stays inside and works on a related inside project.
Recently, butterfly buddies went into the garden to look for insects and their host plants. They found butterflies and milkweed, green lynx spiders on several plants, spittle bug juveniles on the sagebrush, spittle bug adults, called leafhoppers, on the tomatoes, a red banded crab spider, and more. Students used their garden journals as a place to make scientific drawings of the animals and their host plants.
Year End Work Day October 9, 2009
Thank you so much everyone for the amazing clean up of the garden! I can’t believe what 35 people can do in 3 short hours –especially when half the people were under four feet tall! We weeded all the beds and paths, laid down two truckloads of wood chips over all the paths and even over the open dirt area, transplanted poppies, pulled out edibles and bagged them up, chopped up peas and buried them and composted them, pruned the Laurel Sumac, cut back the overgrowth on herbs, pulled out the masses of Feverfew, as well as the giant mother plant and mother Sorrel plant — did I miss anything? Wow!