March 2013 Update

posted Mar 26, 2013, 12:55 AM by John Fisher
Garden Updates  and follow up from our past meeting 
  • Drip Irrigation is being installed in all class beds by older IS students. We hope to finish this project on Friday.

  • Food Lab flower cutting has been easily incorporated into K/1 IS Monday garden day. I prep the vases by changing water and removing spent flowers on Monday morning and K/1 kids cut and arrange at end of garden morning.

  • One compost bin is filled up and "closed". The middle bin is now being filled. Laura and Sara has your aid Ani been able to be part of the composting process?

  • Wood chips have been arriving in the garden little by little through the efforts of Mr. Bitter

  • We are on our way to hiring a UCSC workstudy student for a minimal amount of hours to do some weeding and general upkeep this spring UC quarter. Using workstudy allows us to only have to pay 1/2 the workers wage - a very affordable way to get someone paid to weed!

  • We should hear back about the $2,000 WholeKids Foundation grant this April. I feel good about this one.

  • Our school was included in a grant proposal that will provide two UCSC undergraduate garden interns who would help teach in the garden. We will hear back in October and if funded we wouldn't see them until 2014-2015.
Spring / Summer planting plans:
Production beds:
These beds are currently planted with crops that should be harvestable before summer break. Then just before school gets out we are thinking of filling these beds with winter squash (hard squash) such as butter nut, spaghetti, acorn, delicata and others. These will be ready to harvest in the fall and should be a good addition to Food Lab and could make for some great taste testing activities. These crops make great over-summer planting since they are relatively easy to maintain and do a good job out-competing weeds. Mixing in sunflowers will make the beds look even better.

Class beds:
About half of these beds are planted with crops. The others can be planted with some quick growing crops like lettuce or spinach during the 3/29 workday or some other time soon. Rachel has transplants and we also have seed we can direct sow.

Ideally we can get all the class beds harvested before school lets out and then filled with good fall harvest crops. We will sow some of these fall harvest crops in six pack during the 3/29 workday and look for donations of others. Rachel Spencer will care for the seeds we sow in her greenhouse!

See the bottom of the following page for ideas over-summer plantings I will check in with each class regarding late spring planting of your class beds. I would like to suggest we have grade level planting themes. For example 5/6 can plant traditional dry beans or hard squash that can be used during their living history field trip or kinder can plant pumpkins to use for pumpkin math. etc. TBD at a spring garden meeting.

With the new irrigation system we should have a great fall garden!