The first of the seeds that were planted about a month ago are beginning to reach the harvest stage. The Garden Club spent last Tuesday morning out in the garden slowly whittling down the pile of dirt into the raised beds. These are the future home of the warm season veggies getting ready in the hoophouse.
They also performed their weekly weeding duties, getting much better at knowing what to pick and not to pick! A couple of students helped me to put up a trellis net for our ever lengthening pea plants. Mr. Yamnicky donated the net and it worked perfectly to stretch over the two low pea beds. A lot was accomplished, but the students had the most fun at the end of period when we were able to harvest the radishes!
Each student picked out a radish and they were certainly impressed with how big they were. They were eager to try them, so we went into the classroom and talked about the leaves and roots before we washed them, and then I cut them in half so they could see what the inside looked like. I offered them up with some salad dressing, but to my surprise and delight, many declined and just ate them raw. How satisfying to see 20 middle school students all trying a fresh grown radish that they just picked 5 minutes ago and loving it. Many said they had never tried one before, but would surely ask their parents to buy some! SUCCESS!!!
In addition to the radish, all the other cool season crops will be harvested prior to school letting out - this includes: kale, lettuce, broccoli, beets, swiss chard, and some very large spinach!
On Friday, Mr. Wolf's SIS class started their experiments that they have been planning for about a week now. Students worked in groups to decide what they wanted to test. Some tested type of liquid, others tested organic vs. natural fertilizers,or amount of light. One group is looking at the effect of companion planting and finally another group is testing the effect of treated water. They are watering their radishes with tap, bottled, boiled, and microwaved water to see if there is a difference in plant growth.
Big Congratulations to the SIS Community Garden. Mr. Wolf and Mrs. Sedlock from Mohegan School wrote a grant proposal for the Shelton Education Endowment Fund (SEEF) and were notified yesterday that they were awarded the $250 grant money. They will use this money to purchase plant light tables and a webcam. 3rd grade students at Mohegan take lettuce seedlings home and observe them for a period of time. The idea is for SIS students to grow the seedlings, sharing the germination and growth process with the Mohegan students via webcam. When the seedlings are ready, Mohegan 3rd graders will visit the garden, where they will be taught mini lessons from the SIS students and then given their seedlings. This will be a great collaborative effort between two Shelton Schools!