Never have I gone so long without a post—never have I had a busier first six weeks of school. (A friend gently pointed out I always say that.) Anyway, welcome back, dear readers. Let’s stroll around and catch up.
Starting at the junior high garden, the umbrellas were installed at the mosaic tables, providing much needed shade in these warm school months. We got good ones–sturdy and rated for wind.
I met with two “Garden Beneficials” on a Saturday to dig up comfrey and broccoli at Mary’s house to transplant to school. (Gardens grow community!)
Grant money paid for this all-weather chalkboard. Domingo hung it for us behind the outdoor kitchen prep island so that we can write recipes, illustrate lesson plans, and more!
Once again applications went out to the fifth grade students, and I picked a new crop of 10 ambassadors.
Four varieties of fresh figs were donated by the Farm Stand in Escondido for a taste test at recess.
For our harvest of the month (September—tomatoes), we harvested, made salsa, learned tomato trivia, looked at pictures of heirlooms, and read children’s books. My “garden beneficials” group continue to bless us all with their time and commitment to teaching with me in the garden.
One week I gave two tours: one to the United Methodist Women, another to the Ramona Garden Club. Both were big garden lovefests.
I lalso led a weekend fieldtrip to Camp Stevens as part of our Farm to School program. Camp Stevens has an amazing organic farm, garden and outdoor education program—an incredible resource in Julian. We played “Jays vs. Chickadees” under the oak trees and then went out to the field to make our own salsa on the spot. You took a chip, went and grabbed a cherry tomato off the vine, then brought it back and piled on onions, peppers, cucumbers that Rita was furiously chopping up. Repeat.
After helping to harvest the spaghetti squash, we headed back to the main camp for their “seasonal supper” to which they invite the larger community.
All the bins back at school got turned and compost sifted to make room for this year’s lunchtime scraps. Ambassadors are posted at the trashcans at lunch to help kids put their leftovers in the right bucket, and then third grade helpers come out to dump the scraps, add straw, add rainwater, and then return the buckets to the lunch area.
And finally, I’ve enjoyed working with my son’s 2/3 class every Friday for a half hour of “garden time”—a new thing I’m trying with his teacher. We are learning songs, memorizing plant names, eating what’s ready, going on sensory walks and drawing in our journals. My son’s class is a very sweet group of kids who absolutely love the garden, and I look forward to our time together each week.