We use Intergrated Pest Management (IPM) strategies in our garden. This means using organic pesticides only as a last resort. Our cages are a great example. We built these after we noticed how much of our newly transplanted seedlings were being eaten by sparrows and even mice (about 100 percent!). These cages are designed the keep the birds and rodents from gnawing our plants into oblivion, without using any poisons or other tactics harmful to the wildlife or the soil. Learn more about IPM here.
We've found that we're having more success with growing seedlings in our hothouse and greenhouse than indoors in Room 7. It makes sense that plants would rather be outdoors! Today we transplanted our outdoor seedlings, which took a little longer to grow than the ones inside, but appeared more vigorous, full and healthy!
Finally! We've been watching the little heads slowly grow since the spring, but this week our gardeners chopped off a bunch and we pan-fried them up with some butter, oil, salt and pepper. Many students had never tried brussels sprouts, and were fairly impressed! These kids love trying new healthy foods!
Our fall Community Work Day took place last Saturday. A dedicated and fun group of about 12 of us stopped by to get a lot accomplished: weeding, transplanting, cleaning and organizing, and beginning work on our new performance stage, funded through a grant from Lowe's Toolbox for Education. Thanks to everyone who came out!
Our neighbors at Creative Arts Charter School made a stop on their weekly "nature walks" to our garden to complete a scavenger hunt and help us with some weeding. We were unsure our garden could handle 42 little ones, but our teenagers did a wonderful job guiding them through the garden and answering their questions. We hope to see them back again soon!
Today we prepared the three herbs we've been naturally drying in the Environmental Science room, separating the leaves from the stems and crushing up the leaves for storage. We made some lovely herbal tea from the lemon verbana and mint. Hoping to dry many more herbs this year!