Winter in our garden means lots of things. Composting, cover cropping, pruning, fixing and building things, and mulching! We get our fresh wood chip mulch from ArboristNow, a local tree maintenance company that is always ready with a free load of wood chips to spread on our pathways and in our planting beds. Wood chip mulch helps to prevent erosion, suppress weeds, aid in decomposition, retain heat and moisture in the soil, and it smells great! Mulching is always a favorite activity for our most energetic students!
This month our garden was the site of some climate experiments that AP Environmental Science students conducted with the help of Professor of Climatology Andrew Oliphant of San Francisco State University. Professor Oliphant brought some equipment to enable students to measure the carbon flux in different areas in the garden to demonstrate how carbon enters and exits the atmosphere through plants and animals. Our garden provides innumerable opportunities for our students to see science in action!
Mr. Berthiaume and Mr. Tilles teamed up to create a new after-school Club at Gateway. They meet Tuesdays after school, and cook a meal in the outdoor kitchen, and decide on ways to make our school more sustainable. Students take turns bringing recipes from home - so far we've had a month of Asian food, a month of Latin food, and a month of Russian food. And we are actively working to fix our waste problem here at school, starting with educating everyone on putting waste in the right bin. Come join us!
September was a busy month in the Garden as we watch the days get shorter. We are lucky here in San Francisco that September and October are sunny and beautiful, and it means we get extra growth on our summer crops like tomatoes and peppers, and we can plant new produce like kale and beets. Meanwhile we're pruning, weeding, and making new areas for next year's plantings. And of course we're cooking healthy food! Check out the photo gallery below to see all of this in action!
Ms. Gelomino's Visual Art class took to the garden recently to study textures. The up-close photos are really quite stunning! They shared their favorite works on this website. Check them out!
Welcome back to school, and welcome back to the Garden! As a new gardening class, we spent August getting to know the garden and the tools we'll be using to maintain it. We don't yet have a summer gardening program so there is always a lot to do when we return from summer break. Not only that, but we are planting our fall crops and cooking some of our summer harvest. Check out the photos for a closer glimpse of what we accomplished so far!
Over the summer we published our annual report, celebrating our students' accomplishments this past school year. You can also learn about the expanding reach of Gateway's Garden Program and the plans for the coming school year. As always, let us know if you have an idea for a program in the garden or you'd like to get involved! Check it out online!
Well, another year has come to a close. Lots accomplished - so many plants planted, so much food harvested, cooked and eaten, and so many wonderful new additions to our garden. Lots of new skills learned and lots of new friends made. Have a safe summer everyone and we'll see you in the fall, with a new "crop" of student gardeners to continue our work of making this Earth a better place, for every living thing!
This week marked the first official performance on our new performance stage, which we constructed this year and funded by a grant from Lowe's Toolbox for Education. Gateway's very own Music Club performed three songs, and then student were treated to the debut performance of the as-yet-unnamed Teacher Band, featuring Mr. Little, Ms. Marx, Ms. Buckley, and Mr. Berthiaume. Live music in the garden, what could be better?!
This year we hosted our neighbors at Creative Arts Elementary School for a day of fun and exploration of nature. 30-40 first graders joined us three times during the school year. They proved to be very insightful nature observers, quick scavenger hunters, enthusiastic dirt-diggers, and fairly safe wagon drivers. Can't wait to have them back next year!