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Thursday, October 28, 2010

Gettin' Down and Dirty

The theme of the day was soil. We tried to teach the kids about the differences in soil types and their effects on plant growth. The same three experiments as yesterday were done today and the kids rotated in groups to each station. We struggled to finish the lesson and make sure the kids understood what the essential points were, because it was a race against the clock. The combination of the three lessons was confusing for many of the kids, so I suggest less involved lessons. It was a challenge getting through the lesson in time and completing the worksheet. Many students had trouble understanding the questions on the worksheet, but I couldn't spend as much time as needed to clarify it to everyone and get through the experiement. As always the hands-on part of the lesson was the kids favorite, and they were excited to gather different soils. One boy found a colorful beetle when collecting soil in the garden and proceeded to describe how much he loved the movie beetlejuice he had just seen. Both classes were curious about the cardboard we had laid down, so I explained how it is supposed to prevent weeds from growing. The kids wanted to know more about weeds and were very glad to help pull up some grasses coming up through the mulch. This surprised me considering how much us gardeners despise weeding. As we walked toward the garden, one girl took my hand and informed me that she was writing a story about me and the other gardeners, which her teacher will give us when its finished.

In terms of garden maintenance the usual jobs were done including watering and weeding as many beds as we could. We transplanted the papaya plants along the fence and watered them plenty. More cardboard and mulch still need to be put down along the fence. The compost was compressed and watered. We didn't have time to organize the shed so it could still use some straightening up. We found another strange looking worm-like creature in the compost that was a purplish black coloration. It didn't seem wet like a worm so I was wondering if it was a type of burrowing snake, but I couldn't get a picture before we lost it in the soil. All in all it was a successful day at the garden, and I look forward to next weeks compost lesson.

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