The day was picture perfect. The garden was ready and waiting for 150 or so students to add their part to our outdoor garden classroom. First to arrive were the Pre-K’s who offered morning glories they had started from seed. They planted them along the arbor entrance to our garden. The Pre-K’s had also started sunflowers when they visited Kindergarten a few weeks earlier. Their Kindergarten friends planted these for them in a square sunflower house.
Next to visit were the 6th and 1st. grades. They partnered to plant three different varieties of tomatoes. Sun Golds are yellow cherry tomatoes that are sweet as sugar. These will be ready when summer camp begins and they’ll keep bearing until the fall. Romas, a meaty sauce variety, will be harvested and frozen for winter tomato projects, like pizza making. Beefsteaks, a large salad variety were started from seed by the After School Program students. These will be found in the salad bar this summer. I’m hoping that the 6th graders will carry on the tradition of creating flags with memories of their garden to attach to the tomato stakes as a reminder of their time here.
Two kinds of peppers were planted by the 4th graders. Sweet peppers are a delicious snack straight from the garden. Jalapenos are a bit spicier. We’ll use those for making salsa, trying Indian recipes with Atasi Das’s class and for canning dilly beans!
The 5th grade planted potatoes that they’ll use next year as 6th graders, not just for cooking and science, but for learning how to properly use a knife and fork.
2nd graders planted our kale. We begin making snacks like kale chips and massaged kale salad in the summer months. Kale is a long lasting crop. We’ll still be harvesting it after the first frost. I’m hoping to make some yummy kale smoothies with campers this summer.
The 3rd graders planted 3 varieties of corn. We are so lucky to have Paul Harlow as our sponsor farmer. He donates seedlings for many of the crops we plant. 3rd graders will be responsible for harvesting and drying the popcorn they planted when they’re in 4th grade. The entire school will eat popcorn for snack once a week. parent, Amy Rice Sciacca, once a student herself here, has been volunteering to pop our popcorn every Wednesday this year. Thank you 3/4th graders and Amy! The other two corn varieties are sweet corn and flint corn (used as corn meal for grinding and baking).
Kindergarteners planted their own crop; pie pumpkin seeds were planted in hills, 5 seeds to a hill for studies next fall.
All classes are invited to partake of the bounty of ALL crops even though specific classes were assigned to plant each one. The sweet reward at the end of planting was a juice pop from Kim Kinney in the school kitchen.