1/23/2013 Teacher Meeting Notes - Composting, Harvesting and More

posted Jan 25, 2013, 10:05 AM by John Fisher   [ updated Jan 31, 2013, 9:23 AM ]
Composting Plan - Food Lab kitchen scraps will be sorted and placed in five gallon bucket(s).
On Monday - Thursday 3rd/4th class aid Ani will assist students to bring the compost from the kitchen to the garden compost. 
On Friday Mr. Bitter will take the compost down at the end of the day and return the buckets on Monday.

Composting Procedure
See map for location of compost bins.
  1. After lunch collect buckets filled with compost scraps from Food Lab.
  2. Dump kitchen scraps from the buckets in a layer on top of the compost bin. Try to spread them evenly on the top of the pile. Ideally we want the top of pile to be flat not a cone or pyramid. Then cover with a thin layer of straw. Make sure to cover all scraps.
  3. Bucket(s) should be rinsed and returned to food lab.
  4. Once a compost bin is full start filling the adjacent bin. 
  5. Once we fill the third bin the first one should be well near finished.

Empty Beds
There are two empty beds 1/2 and 5/6. Ben is going to check in with his students and let us know if they plan to use it. If not Terra and John are both interested in filling with some plant/experiments.
Kristen said that here 1/2 class can plant peas. John will get her some seed and instructions if needed.

Harvesting Greens and Flowers for Food Lab
We discussed different ways/schedules and means to harvest food for food lab from the production beds. We pretty much came to the conclusion that we should just harvest when ever we can as long as there is stuff to be picked. There are small white buckets (2 gallon mini versions of the 5 gallon buckets that are used for composting) that will live under the bussing table in the upper grades lunch room. Grab those buckets when you go to the garden then fill them with salad or kale and bring to food lab. Stephanie said she can pretty much use what ever we bring her. As we get production back up and classes get in the habit of weekly harvesting Stephanie can possibly adjust her ordering. When I harvest with K/1 we try to fill 4-5 buckets of lettuce which equates to about the amount of lettuce needed for the day's salad. Keep up communications with Stephanie so we can learn what works best.

We discussed a system of putting out signs in the production beds that explain what is to be harvested. More discussions will take place to figure this out and we will communicate it to everyone. 

Flowers will be blooming soon and Laura mention that her class could cut bouquets on Monday or Tuesday. As good cutting flowers bloom in the months to come we will start cutting for food lab tables. If many blooms come maybe we can even sell some bouquets. 

Garden Tour and Suggestions
Weather Station:
There is now a weather station/log attached to the pole with the wind sock on it and a minimum / maximum thermometer on the shed. Use the log to record the weather when you are in the garden. Put completed log sheets on the bottom of the pile of sheets.

A min/max thermometer has two gauges. The one on the left side is upside down, as it cools the mercury rises rather than sinks. Small floats are pushed to each temperature extreme by the two columns and stay there until reset by pushing the red button on the front.

Digging Only Area:
It was suggested to have a digging only area with nature items or wooden blocks to play with and stack. One some major weeding happens a space can be prepped for this.

Next Workday
March 29th - IS will have an option garden workday scheduled for the field trip. I will organize the day and check in with all classes to schedule times to come and help.