Vermont School Garden

A visit to a Vermont public school garden through the seasons.

The Wearin’ of the Green

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Marigolds to GreenhouseThird Graders planted a flat of basil seeds to send to our  farmer, Paul Harlow’s greenhouse. That flat will soon join the marigold seedlings that After School Program brought to the greenhouse last week (see above). Extended periods of warmth and sunlight aren’t really the order of the day right now in a typical Vermont environment. We’re grateful for the space provided at Harlow Farm. The third graders are about to test out their theories of where seedlings will grow best. Basil seedlings are so tiny they’re almost the size of a typed period. Students got a closer look at them with magnifying glasses. Planted seeds will spend the weekend germinating in a dark place in the classroom. Then on Monday, the experiment will begin. (Click on photos to enlarge.)

Planting basil seeds

Planting basil seeds


Predicting with a variable

writing predictions

writing predictions










With their teacher, Dena, students chose a few places in their classroom to care for seedlings. One group put theirs in a drawer, another on the window sill and another on the book shelf. They will monitor and care for the growth of their basil seedlings daily. Students worked hard at writing predictions for how each seedling group will fare. Labeled diagrams were exceptional in their detail.

labeled drawing grade 3

labeled drawing grade 3

labeled drawing and prediction

labeled drawing and prediction

I will keep the class  posted on the progress of the flat that goes to the greenhouse via emailed photos.

These basil seedlings will be big enough to be transplanted within a month. Students will plant them into small recycled school milk cartons. Some will be sold. Others will grow in our garden. We use basil for making pesto and for cooking projects….especially pizza sauce!


Author: vermontschoolgarden

I have been an elementary teacher at the Westminster Center School for 30 years. For most of those years, I maintained a garden as part of my teaching curriculum resource. Now I am the Garden Coordinator for all of the Westminster Center School classrooms.

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