What a thrill for the fourth graders to plant their peas, and see them sprout and grow! Their assignment was to design and engineering trellises to build them strong and sturdy enough to support the peas.
But first the students got to know the adorable pea tendrils that reach out and grasp onto whatever they can to climb up higher and higher. The trellises needed to provide the tendrils with something to grab onto.
The students made models with bamboo, string and various other building materials to see how they could design a trellis that would hold up the peas as they grew.
We took that hands-on modeling experience out in to the field. A big thank you to the community members who donated bamboo to make the stakes! The students made sure they pounded them in deep enough to provide the stability needed. Then they tied on string at the right distance apart for the peas to be able to reach up without difficulty. Not as easy as it sounds!
Those peas sure did a great job growing, and with each visit to the farm the students added lines of string to keep apace with the growth. To measure the production, the students counted the number of pea plants in a foot, and the number of flowers and peas on those plants. By weighing a group of peas, they could calculate the weight of a single pea, and then determine how many pounds of peas would be produced on their plants. Alas, school ended before all the peas completely matured, but we had some initial results!
The students compared four varieties of peas, and the Sugar Ann snap peas were the first to be ready to eat.
But there were a lot of peas (and kale) to eat elsewhere in the garden, and the fourth graders LOVED eating!