On June 16th as the school farm team watched the big yellow busses pull away from the Elementary school, we felt a wave of sadness at the temporary loss of our hungry enthusiastic students.
The fresh salad served at the Orcas Picnic on June 8th marked the end of our garden events for the year. Fifth grade students harvested and prepared a delicious salad from the garden that included lettuce, peas, carrots, onions, radishes and a variety of edible flowers. Third graders made Kale and Spinach pesto to dress the salad. Happy smiles were observed as bowls of the fresh, student grown and prepared salad were eaten along with the barbecue’d hot dogs and baked goods at the picnic.
All classes made their final visits to the garden and had their final garden nibble of the 2016-17 school year. Second grade students took time to reflect on their year in the garden and think about how we have worked to build our garden soil throughout the season. They all showed their understanding by creating a picture and sharing it with each other and their teachers. Clearly everyone understood that mulching, cover cropping and decomposition are part of soil building. It’s also easy to see that carrots are a favorite garden nibble!
First grade students said goodbye to the garden by noticing the cycle of change in our much loved kale plants. We pulled out the kale, observed and drew the shrinking leaves and expanding seed pods forming as the plants go from flower to seed. We met in our garden circle one last time and enjoyed some fresh carrots and peas while we remembered and shared our favorite moments in the garden.
The third, fourth and fifth grade students had time to come to the garden in May and June on an irregular schedule due to testing and end of year activities. However, it was fun to see the wide eyed fourth graders as they checked on the peas they’d planted. All of their designing and building of the trellis’s rewarded them with yummy green treats to eat within easy reach. All classes sat in the garden circle one last time and shared their favorite garden memories. Carrots always come into the conversation, along with Kale and anything having to do with eating fresh picked produce from the garden.
The garden is quiet now, the school farm team is rotating crops and putting in tomato and cucumber plants along with rows of carrots and lettuce for the fall harvest. The abundant snow and sugar snap peas are ripe for the picking and between the farm team, and summer visitors we’ve harvested many pounds the of these delicious treats. The beans are rapidly growing vines that will soon create a beautiful green shelter for the returning students in September.
We host the community and welcome families on Tuesday mornings at the School Farm from 9:00-12:00 for work party and a community lunch in the garden. Please join us!