Ms. Jones and Ms. Chown’s 4th graders planted greens and potatoes to donate to a food bank or homeless shelter.
Ms. Swangren planted peas with her class. Now that our watering system is working, they are coming up!
Fifth Graders are building a healthy compost pile. They began by layering GREENS — nitrogenous waste (veggie waste from juice bar Go Raw and coffee grounds from Starbucks in Liberty Station) and layering on BROWNS — carbon waste — straw (left over from the Fall Festival), a bit of garden soil for the beneficial bacteria it provides, and making the pile nice and wet. Every couple of weeks, they added a few more layers and watched the pile heat up and break down. Composting takes a few months, if it is maintained and kept moist and aerated, but by the end of the year we should have some healthy compost to use on our garden.
Next, the fifth graders will be adding signage to teach the rest of the school how to compost!
Potatoes may just look like ordinary tubers, but they are really quite extraordinary! 2nd Graders will soon begin learning about the role potatoes have played in their ancestor’s lives on several continents — as a major food source in South America, as well as a major player in the Irish Potato Famine which drove our Irish ancestors to America. The Potato famine was the result of planting a monoculture, a single crop, that was wiped out by a fungus. We can prevent such disasters by planting a diversity of plants — a good metaphor for our nation.
We will plant potatoes inside stacked tire planters — courtesy of Goodyear Tires on Rosecrans Drive – which we are painting blue, yellow and pink. On the outside of the tires, we will write our Potato-etry — poems worthy of an epic plant like the potato.
Here is our first tire, half-painted in Mrs. Manguil’s room.
By January, our 2nd Grade Ancestor Gardens are growing nicely! With the help of classroom garden volunteers Maricella, Alissa and Denise, we record plant growth, measuring the size of an individual plant using string and unifix cubes, and record data by making detailed drawings of the plant and writing down information we notice about our plant.
2nd Grade Gardeners from all three classes have been planting plants eaten in the continent of their ancestors as part of their year-long study of their own ancestry. Between November and January, thanks to repairs to our watering system’s electrical system by High Tech High facilities angel, Roland, our plants are growing beautifully! Here’s some of our progress. The first bed planted was our Asia bed. Next is Northern and Southern Europe, and next is North and South America and Africa.