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Monday, April 4, 2011

Monday Monday!

As you can see from Professor Curtis' last post...holy cow! The garden exploded into a lush greenery over the past week! Since many of the Eckerd student volunteers were still traveling from spring break, or arrived late last night, our numbers were much smaller at our weekly morning meeting. Yet, for those of there we were able to see the garden truly in all it's glory! With all of the new growth we have a lot of work to do this week. The bed of beans need a trellis to climb, the cucumber trellis needs reinforcement so the vegetables don't become to heavy for the vine, we are still struggling with keeping some of the pineapple plants alive, we need to put mulch around the watermelon and expand their area so they aren't mowed over, and lastly we need to pull sedge. Unfortunately as wonderful as last week's rain was for the plants, it was also great for our worst enemy: sedge. Thankfully, we have a Saturday work morning coming up so we can get the garden back into tip top shape!

Today's lesson didn't quite go over quite as planned since the kids were still struggling to get back into school mode after a week of vacation. We had to stop several times in order to regain complete attention, and we used several different techniques to keep their focus including moving from one end of the table to the other so that none of the kids were at the "back" for the entire lesson. The water cycle is a tough concept to get through with many vocabulary words including evaporation, condensation, and precipitation. Last semester's lesson was thought to be too simple for the older grades, yet this lesson almost seemed to complicated for the classes. I'm sure that throughout the week we will adapt and find a successful and interesting way to convey the concept of the water cycle to the students. This trial and error will help us for future years, and truly shows the reasoning and rational behind putting lessons through rigorous testing with the students before they can be published.

I see this project flourishing already and I am extremely sad I only have 6 weeks left to be a part of it. I truly hope that wherever I end up I can continue working with an edible schoolyard or create even take what I've learned over the past two years and create a new one!

Until next time!

Stephanie - Senior Volunteer

 A beautiful Okra flower!
 A Monarch on the Milkweed!
A Black Swallowtail caterpillar on the carrots!

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