After the Harvest

The busy autumn classes full of fresh produce and sunshine have moved with definite progression into cold nights, cool days and waning production in the garden, signaling the time to put the garden to bed.  The students have been working over the past few weeks to glean the last of the tomatoes and cucumbers from the dying vines and then pulling them up and cleaning the beds and planting cover crop so that the garden is ready for spring planting.

The third graders have successfully harvested the potatoes that they planted last spring and we’re all anticipating the delicious mashed potatoes that will be prepared and served at the Harvest Feast on November 16th in the Elementary School Cafeteria. After the harvest the students smoothed the soil and mulched the beds with straw to ready them for planting peas in the spring.

Grade one students have rolled up their sleeves and helped pull out lettuce, turnips, and weeds.  They’ve found a fascinating array of worms and bugs in the soil as they worked, plus they took the time to notice the roots of the plants they were pulling out to see if they could find the ‘longest’ root of the day.

The cove beds have been replanted with cover crop and sprinkled with freshly sifted compost and made ready by the second graders for spring planting.  Before planting the cover crop, the students sorted the seeds and noticed the different seeds in the cover crop mix.

Spring bulbs of garlic, tulip, and camas will grace the garden next spring thanks to the fourth graders.

Grade five and six students have prepared the circle beds for spring by planting a blanket of cover crop on the garden beds.  They have shown their understanding and competence by taking care of all tasks related to readying the garden beds for winter including, harvesting, pulling out plants, cultivating the soil, and raking it smooth.

Growing and eating fresh food can almost seem magical when seen through the eyes of the students.  Pulling fresh carrots out of the soil never ceases to delight, munching on a kale leaf and filling it with flowers, ground cherries, and perhaps some cucumbers to make a garden taco becomes the most delicious treat.  All the children find a place in the garden and that’s a place we all want to be.

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