What could be more fun than fertilizing our future orchard with decomposing Halloween pumpkins? We saw last year how incredibly delightful and disgusting it was to watch pumpkins turning to gooey mush and returning into the soil, and how the grass growing around them was dramatically greener and taller. Plus what a great way to teach principles of decomposition and soil fertility, bridging the fall and spring.
First the students looked at the pumpkins all lined up and noticed how they were decomposing… black, red, white, gray and fuzzy molds!
Then it was off to the new orchard area on the hillside to the west of the fence. (We will be moving the fence to enclose the orchard.) The children first had to walk through the path of decomposing pumpkins! On the hillside, stakes were set out where the future fruit trees are planned.
The First and Second Grade classes from the Elementary School, and the K – 5 classes from the South Whidbey Academy all had a blast setting the pumpkins (collected in a post-Halloween pumpkin drive) around the stakes marking the future fruit trees.
Now the classes will watch the pumpkins decompose, learning about this cycle of life, and seeing the pumpkins transform into the apples and pears they will be eating.
Though this was the final class of the fall season, the students can come and visit their pumpkins throughout the winter!