As the first quarter of garden flex class comes to an end we reflect on the hard work the students put forth and their achievements in the garden. We had a spectacular group of 7th graders! This quarter the students were busy gaining skills on seasonal work in the garden as we geared up for the cold winter months.
There were a lot of beds to prep. Most of the beds, save for the kale, were to be cover cropped. The kids learned about cover crops or “green manure” and their importance towards feeding the soil after a long season of feeding ourselves. Varieties we used for winter included Rye, Austrian field pea, Clover, Fava bean, and Vetch, all of which can stand a bit of a frost. A significant part of the experience was the hands on bed prep process.
The kids learned how to put the garden to sleep through mulching. We let some of our beds grow weedier than usual and instead of pulling them, along with the leftover lettuce crop, we turned them into the bed and spread a nice, thick blanket of hay over it. This way, the leafy nitrogen matter will decompose with help of the hay (carbon) blanket and provide a space for the microorganisms in the soil to “communicate” with or breakdown the matter.
The 7th graders helped harvest vegetables for the Good Cheer Food Bank as well as collaborating with the Home Economics teacher to provide fresh veggies for their cooking classes. What a great way to give back to the community!
Great work team!