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Thursday, April 28, 2011

Growing and Progress!

 April 28, 2011

        Today was one of the first days I started to notice the hot Florida temperatures, as the temperature is normally pretty moderate at 8 AM in the morning. Upon arriving, we had some time for maintenance. I did some weeding of various areas, while Joanisa worked on removing the beetles from the sunflowers. We also made some kale chips for the kids with garlic, olive oil, salt and pepper. They were delicious.

           This morning we noticed that the birds had chewed off a sunflower from its stem, and it had fallen to the ground. We took this opportunity to dissect it and teach the kids about the anatomy of a flower, and how each part is beneficial. We used terms like seed, stem, petal, and leaf to help them identify each part.

         When the kids came, we reviewed everything that we have learned this year. We went over the life-cycle of a butterfly and its importance (with kale chips as a reward), and the water cycle. Additionally, we discussed the different elements plants need to grow such as soil, water, and sunlight. Finally, we covered the topic of the insects' role in the garden, which is by far the kids' favorite topic. It is very rewarding to see that the students are starting to recognize which plant is which, and where each plant is growing.
The pumpkins (above) are coming along very nicely, as does the corn (below). 
            Today's lesson was about watering the garden. We filled up several watering pots and allowed each student a chance to water some produce. However, things quickly turned chaotic when the students got carried away and began to get very wet. It was at this point that we reconvened to have a discussion about how to safely and correctly water a garden without getting wet.
            Tommy spent a lot of time collecting seeds from the wildflower and herbs area. The process looked extremely tedious. However, this process is the most beneficial when teaching about sustainable gardening. A lot of the students seemed surprised that the seeds are produced by the flowers. It was a good visual for them to actually see this happen.
Dill seeds have been collected on the left in the clay cup, and cilantro was collected in the plastic cup to the right. 
            All in all, the day was very successful. With the help of the students, the garden is fully watered and the weeding and seeding seems to be under control. We are very excited for the Harvest Festival, and are looking forward to sharing the food with the community, sampling all the dishes, and enjoying the garden.

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