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Friday, September 30, 2011

100-Acre Pineapple Wood

This morning, Hank and Noah gifted us a box of pineapple scalps from Eckerd's cafeteria. Though their absence of sweet, tangy fruit may deem them useless to the common consumer, these green spiky parts will soon root themselves into the ground and begin producing new shoots. It takes a couple of years for the plant to produce another small pineapple, but I think the kids will enjoy the sight of what has now become quite the extensive pineapple forest. I spent a good part of the morning planting and watering our new members of the bromeliad family, and I'm sure there will be more to welcome in the following weeks.
 Since the elementary students are due for their first garden lessons next week, we decided to get some more plants into the ground. A few eggplants had sprouted, so we lined them up in a fresh bed. I was also very pleased to see so many vegetable babies making their way towards the sun! We have plenty of radish sprouts, pole beans, and corn on their way. The sweet potatoes and okra are progressing along fabulously, and one of the tomato plants has grown twice it's size since last Friday.

As we continued pulling out grass, weeding, and digging around, we had a couple surprise visitors. I encountered an especially attractive grub in my pineapple escapades, which found a new home in the compost pile with no hesitation. Katie offered a curious passerby a sprig of basil, which he happily accepted with a brief explanation of our project. To my delight, we also learned that there may be a bald eagle nesting nearby! Noah spotted this beautiful bird as she soared above in the morning sunlight.

Once again, the muddy shoes and sweaty brows are only evidence that our time has been put to excellent use. A beautiful weekend is upon us, during which I trust our garden will be preparing itself for the eager eyes of next week's classes! Happy Friday, everyone!

Carly Chaapel

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