The Second graders had a busy early spring learning about soil, compost and plant structures and growing lots of veggies.
Their February indoor-planted peas, used to learn about root, shoots and leaves, not only survived being taken out of their pots for examination, but went on to be robust producers after being transplanted out to the farm. As the earliest peas, they were used by the Fourth graders to teach about tendrils and pea growth, and then all classes enjoyed eating them!
The beds that the students cover-cropped and added seaweed to last fall were then prepped for planting this spring by adding compost. In this way the students further developed their connection with the soil and the organic matter so important to the soil food web and fertility. These beds grew lettuce and bokchoi for a spring crop, and are planted with carrots, tomatoes, potatoes and brassicas for the fall.
One special crop the Second graders planted was the Makah Ozette potato, a special variety from the Makah tribe that came to the Northwest with the Spanish in the late 1700s. This is a fingerling variety that we will be delivering to the school cafeterias.
They have also been getting to know the native plants outside the farm. Salal and huckleberry plants, important foods for the Native Peoples, are beginning to move back into the meadow from the forest. After learning how this is happening, the students did the initial work of clearing away the grasses and mulching to encourage the natural restoration of these native berries.
Second graders also helped with planting kale, lettuce and peas in the field, as well as growing veggies starts in 4 inch pots. They learned about seed saving, and in particular observed the delicious kale flowers (very popular in garden tacos) transitioning to seed pods. They helped plant the pizza, taco and bean beds.
A rich variety of learning experiences that gave the students a good overall of plants and how they grow, followed by eating them!