Our three-year old artichoke friend shows no signs of slowing down this year. So far we've counted no less than 15 artichokes in various stages of development on this one plant. It clearly likes being here. So, we decapitated five of the biggest heads, steamed them up, and dipped them in honey mustard and balsamic vinaigrette dressing. Great job students! Check out some corny artichoke jokes here.
We've noticed this year that some pests have found our garden an attractive spot for a free meal. One of the gardener's jobs is to protect their plants from other animals. It's no fun to come into the garden and see all your hard work has been eaten away! So we've tried some innovative non-harmful techniques, including building cages around our planting beds to protect from mice and birds (sparrows mostly), and copper tape to protect from snails and slugs. Let's hope the animals find another food source!
Well, the seeds we planted last month didn't sprout forth like we had hoped. Never fear! Gardening is a constant learning process, and the students figured out that our seeds we not planted correctly. Namely, we did not add water to the soil mix before we planted the seeds. As a result, the soil did not retain water, and most of our seeds were washed away. So we tried again, this time with much better results. Way to go team!
It's early spring, and if you're from New England (like Mr. Berthiaume) you know it's maple syrup time! That's when the warmer days and cold nights allow the sap to begin running strong in sugar maple trees. Mr. B gave a lesson on how real maple syrup is made, and the nutritional differences between real syrup and the typical "fake" syrup sold in stores. And you can't have a lesson on maple syrup without...PANCAKES!
After the tragedy at Marjory Stoneham Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, some of our students asked if it would be OK to create a small memorial in our Garden to the victims of school shootings. We decided on a quiet spot near our pond, where students could reflect and pay their respects to the young victims. It's times like these that make us thankful for the close community we have built here at Gateway.