Posts tagged garden

Amazing end o’ the year celebrations

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It’s that time of year again, when we celebrate all the hard work and learning that was done in the garden this year. It is a yearly tradition here to muddle up limes, strawberries, ice, simple syrup, and MINT to make a delicious bubbly drink (a faux-jito?), toast each other, and take one last stroll and hang in the garden.

Our favorite kindergarten matriarch MARLETTA!

Our favorite kindergarten matriarch MARLETTA!

There might have been a couple dance parties too. Will MJ live forever??? Yes, at least in the garden.

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It’s a time of reflection too as many students (especially in the 5th grade) are moving on and are saying goodbye to their friends. Adios!

See ya 5th grade!

See ya 5th grade!

And here are many of these fine youngsters 6 years ago! To be able to hang out and learn with them for 6 years has been an honor!

A mere 6 years ago!

A mere 6 years ago!

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Pizza & Spaghetti herbs w/ kale pesto on the side

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Our weeks long project of harvesting and drying out rosemary, thyme, and oregano has finally come to fruition. We took some of our mixed pizza herb blend home to enjoy the Orca bounty all summer long.

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Students were involved in the entire process including some last minute thyme harvesting off of their dry stalks. A word of advice to prospective garden educator herb activity creators- make more than you think you’ll need! A little of harvesting that is blended up in my ninja food processor becomes smaller and smaller with each twirl. You’ll need a lot!

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I made some kale pesto using 3 kinds of kale, olive oil, and a lil’ salt. Reactions were generally positive..

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Litter Critters!

Microworlds

Microworlds

This great activity combines scientific drawings w/ explorations of the world under natural litter (leaf piles!). Just lift the leaves out of the garden and get inspired by the micro-worlds that exist underneath.

Litter Critter poster!

Litter Critter poster!

We learned about all the common litter critters, such as snails, earwigs, centipedes, millipedes, potato bugs, worms, mites, and grubs. All of them help the soil as decomposers. Those leaves work well as mulch to protect in the winter and also as homes for these litter critters. We did drawings of whatever we found. And these fabulous posters we made are great examples of collaborative arts based learning that is hands on and quite fun.

Observing in the sunshine

Observing in the sunshine

It also helps that it has been AMAZING this week outside w/ pure sunshine that makes outdoor activities a must.

Kindergarten in the garden: priceless

Kindergarten in the garden: priceless

The 3,4,5 grades had to write two facts on the back, while the K,1,2 grades just did the drawings and labeling.

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Seeds & visions of future deliciousness

Soil mix masters

Soil mix masters

The greenhouse is abuzz with sounds of worker bee Orca students planting seeds for the future bounty of hundreds of area gardens. We like to get our tomato seeds going early in February for our annual plant sale on MAY 9th, 2015. We also donate hundreds of plants to area schools & non-profits (contact us if you want some!), along with supplying our own garden with these plants.

Green thumbs

Green thumbs

We had students creating a unique blend of seed starting mix that consists of organic Cedar Grove potting soil, Orca soil from the garden, and worm castings from our onsite worm bins. 3rd, 4th, & 5th gets to do some real life fraction work with this blend, while the younger kids get the blend the best they can. A good blend is important for seed growth.

The mix

The mix

We are probably getting ahead of ourselves, but we were out planting kale & chard seeds in the sunshine. Early birds get the kale, so we hope they grow in this semi-chilly weather.

Planting kale seeds outside

Planting kale seeds outside

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Organisms in the garden

1st grade is studying organisms for their SPS science unit & we went on an organism hunt throughout the garden. Spiderwebs are of particular interest because they are prevalent this time of the year (and super awesome to look at). Just grab a simple plant mister water bottle, spritz the webs, and they come alive.

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The scientific drawings they did turned out fabulous.

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They found many other organisms in the garden: worms, centipedes, millipedes, potato bugs, beetles, flies, spit bugs, stink bugs, & of course our mortal enemy aphids!

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