Wednesday, April 20, 2011
Today was a miraculously beautiful day out in the Peace Patch! The day began with routine maintenance but then launched into a great debate over the best Florida Native plants! Our classes today learned about the Florida Friendly or native plants that we have planted alongside our vegetable beds and sunflowers. These plants are important to our ecosystem here in Florida and they provide many incentives for birds and butterflies. Many are flowering plants that once in bloom radiate under the Florida sunshine and still others are soon to be vibrantly full of berries! The list began at the Weeping Holly which is a white colored tree with small leaves and soon to have tons of red berries, Jamaican Caper which has also small leaves is a smaller plant with flowers about to open, Simpson's Stopper which has notably thick waxy leaves for water retention which is a great trait of Florida natives. The rest of the plants, Cocoa Plum was interesting for its berries, Beauty berry had as one student pointed out mint like leaves, Christmas berry looks like a Christmas tree, fire bush is red and finally coral honeysuckle vine.
Our students had a blast learning about the different plants but they insisted upon visiting the garden as well. The garden has become greener and greener everyday! As a treat for our first class we cut up a green and a yellow cucumber and gave pieces to the students after they had finished their drawings. The students were asked to trace the leaves with colored pencils to note the differences among them and to point out specific characteristics of the different plants. This lesson was a great success on a great Wednesday! In addition to the cucumbers we were able to harvest a huge yellow squash, some gigantic okra and nasturtiums which go great on a salad! Everyone was loving the green in the garden today and I especially enjoyed the enthusiasm from our students who make our project possible.
Have a great week!