Today we brought the whole concept of “local foods” home. Students had a USA map to try and figure out where their breakfast came from. How many thousands of miles did it travel in the course of being grown, processed, shipped, and sold? We use rulers to measure and try and come up with a mileage total. The culminating question is, how does this process impact the environment and economics? Hmmmm, food for thought.
Archive for November, 2010
It’s the end of the harvest- time to bring the garden activities to a close for the season. It’s so blustery and cold outside that it would be impossible to host outdoor activities without being cold and miserable. So inside the greenhouse we have hot tea and scarecrow fixins. Using teh straw from our harvest festival, we combine art and garden knowledge for this fun activity.
We are in the midst of full scale “winter prep mode”. We are getting the garden ready for the oncoming cold by layering it with leaves and hay. This essential garden process really allows the students to get in touch with the soil. We have to preserve our soil- protect it from the fierce elements of rain, snow, and cold. We can help stop erosion and help preserve the vital health and nutrients of our soil if we protect it! Luckily, we have many trees around Orca that drop leaves on the ground for us to collect. Thank you 6th grade!!!!!! We also celebrated with some more delicious mint tea.
Amazing connections made today with our local Rainier Valley Food Bank. We harvested food yesterday from our Hillman City P-Patch food bank plot. We made the rainy trek with Mr. C’s class this morning. We were full of high spirits and good intentions as we arrived a little soggy to hand over kale, cabbage, broccoli, and collard greens. The director of RVFB gave us a tour and talked about how valuable of a community resource the food bank is. Students had an amazing writer’s workshop in the afternoon, using their creative writing skills to write a first person account of a food bank patron. Their empathy and compassion shined through in these writings. Having students grow and deliver fresh, local, organic produce, really helps them feel empowered that they CAN make a difference in their community.
We had a blast today reading “Curious George & The Pizza” before we charged out into the garden to collect pizza and spaghetti herbs. We had thyme, lemon thyme, oregano, chives, and rosemary. First we decorated our spice envelopes with pizza designs and spaghetti themes in our sunny greenhouse. These type of activities allow students to carry the garden home with them and share it with their families. Hopefully students will cook these herbs up and gather with their families to share in some delicious food.
Putting the garden to bed with a layer of Orca leaves was our business today. We gathered them from the N. side of the school and had a wagon train going back to the garden continuously. It was amazingly gorgeous out- a continuation of our record setting 74 degree November heat wave?!?!? Having the students be part of all the cycles of the garden is paramount to them getting a true sense of the ebbs and flows of organic gardening.
Kindergarten had a blast today doing leaf rubbings and making pumpkin jack o’ lanterns. We discussed the endless cycle of pumpkins>seeds>pumpkins>seeds FOREVER. It was beautiful day and the greenhouse was a busy area of artistic creating!
As a comparison and contrast, how about cooking up some delicious fresh soup while looking at the ingredients on the not so fresh hot cheetos? Jeff’s math and science class was challenged to highlight the ingredients they knew on a printout of the hot cheeto ingredients. They then had to calculate a percentage and fraction of the ingredients they knew. The average was about 30%. We also got to talk about a few of them- Red #40 (Crushed beetles), Carageenan (seaweed), and MSG (a flavor enhancer that tricks your brain!). After dealing with such a processed and not so healthy snack, we dove into eating our fresh soup from ingredients that were gleaned from the Orca Garden & Full Circle Farms (We still love your donated weekly produce box!). Adding food to a deep lesson about reading food labels, advertising, and health- is a great way to take the lesson HOME. The soup was delicious and the lesson was absorbed a little more heartily.
We harvested the last of the mint, along with all the fruit sages- I have never harvested the fruit sages, but will experiment with how they dry and smell. We then gathered in the greenhouse for a dual art and crafts event- paper jack o’ lanterns after reading the “Pumpkin Circle” book, then leaf rubbings. O’ the joy!
Today we made paper jack-o-lanterns, leaf rubbings, and enjoyed fresh, hot mint tea. We are still reeling from our amazing harvest festival- so the harvest is fresh on our minds. We read this amazing book called Pumpkin Circle- from seeds to pumpkins to seeds to pumpkins- the cycle is alive…