Just a quick update on what has been going on in the garden over the summer.
Every Wednesday, we have been meeting with 2 starfish academy classes at Shamrock to work on literacy in the garden. Amy came up with some great lesson plans, talking about concepts such as germination and that plants come from seeds, and seeds come from plants. She also introduced the kids to multiple ways of finding things out: observation, asking an expert, and finding out for yourself.
The mailbox is also up and functioning. The kids have come up with some great questions, and everyone has really enjoyed getting letters back.
The garden itself is doing well overall. The green beans were quite prolific, but are now starting to fade. New pole beans were planted a few weeks ago, so hopefully they should start producing when the green beans finish up. Amy and her husband Matt made a great trellis for the pole beans, and also constructed some wooden tomato cages for the second tomato planting.
Our first tomatoes that were planted in August are monsters! They defied caging, even though we tried. There is an Arkansas traveler (?) that is ridiculously huge. I am naming it Audrey. We can't let the children too close to it. It is possible they could disappear into it and not be found until late fall.
The squash was a sad story. They became infested with squash bugs (interesting fact- the children observed that the insides of squash bugs are blue.) and we had to put the plants out of their misery a few weeks ago. The kids planted some new seeds in another bed, along with radishes and bitter melon, so hopefully this new crop will fare better.
Tomorrow we are going to have our last class with the academy, and are going to be covering the concept of "harvest". We are going to pick basil and tomatoes, and then make a pesto for the kids to eat with bread and tomato slices. We are starting at 10. If anyone is interested in joining us, email me and let me know!
Cary attended the NC Fruits and Vegetables Coalition meeting last week, and Amy and I are heading out to the schoolyard garden conference at the end of the month, so look for lots of new ideas and information coming soon!
Amy, Cary and I and a few others are going to be getting together soon to come up with a broad plan for next year. Committees will then need help planning specifics and working on lessons, garden structures and plots, meals, etc. Please contact Cary Probst if you would like to help with the nutrition side of the project, or Amy Hayes for gardening issues. It is really a lot of fun, and the kids and teachers are just great, so I hope all of you have a chance to come out to Shamrock to experience it at least once over the next school year!