Earth Day activities and garden nibbles

Earth Day
April 22, 2016

What an amazing Earth Day it was this spring at the South Whidbey School District Farm! All grades K-5 came to the farm for activities and lots to eat with making your own garden veggie snack, pea shoot pesto and garden veggie soup.

Activities:

Fairy Houses: Take leaves, sticks, and bits of paper and string to make a little house for a garden fairy to live in. We’ll make our little fairy houses and place them in a special place in the garden so the fairies can drink the morning dew and nibble on new green shoots coming up in the garden.  Grades K, 1

Pet Rocks: Choose a colored rock and use marking pens decorate it with fancy designs and colors. Create a rock and place it in a special place in the garden. You can visit your rock in the weeks ahead. Grades K, 1

Flags: We’ll have the squares of fabric colored with natural plant dyes. You will use multi colored fabric pens to make an Earth Day design. We will hang the flags along the top of the garden fence creating colorful rows around our garden.   Grades 1 – 5

Design a logo: Our School Farm needs a new logo. What’s a logo? A logo is a design that is used to identify an organization or company. When people see the logo, they know what the organization is about. Design a symbol with a few words that will let people know exactly what the School Farm is about! You’ll have colored pencils, paper, pens and all the materials you need to design a logo.   Grades 2 – 5

Word Rocks: Express yourself in the garden. Think about the Earth, the garden, and choose a word that describes your thoughts, feelings or knowledge. Write it on a rock that we can keep in the garden. We’ll use these rocks during garden lessons from time to time. Grades 4 – 5

Build a Bug: You’ve seen a million of them in the garden. Those creepy, crawly things that do both good and bad things for our garden. We’re not talking worms, we’re talking about bugs! How many legs? Eyes? Ears? You’ll have a little lump of clay and some sticks and things to create a bug. Your bug will live in the garden with all the other bugs. Who knows, they might attract some friends.   Grades 3 – 5

Plant Squash for the Fall Harvest (Third graders, this is for you!) The squash is an important part of our garden and a delicious vegetable for our Thanksgiving feast. You will plant squash seeds and then harvest them in the fall when you are in grade four.  Grade 3

Spirals:  Learn about the spiral, the symbol of Earth Day.  It’s like a circle that doesn’t close.  You will trace the shape of the spiral, and walk the spiral…then possibly find a way to make a spiral with natural materials. Start looking for spiral in nature…there are many!  Grade 1 – 5.

Nests: Birds build nests and so do other creatures. It’s your turn to build a nest and place it somewhere in the garden. A little bit of clay, some twigs, feathers, and leaves will be the materials you use to make your little nest. If you build it, maybe some creatures will find a home in your nest.  Grade 1 – 2

Plant a pollinator: What’s a pollinator? It’s a plant that attracts bees and other creatures that pollinate our garden. Fruit trees need pollinators to bear fruit. All plants need pollinators to make new seeds. Your work will be planting some pollinating flower plants along the fence line near the new orchard. Your work will attract the insects needed to keep our trees and plants healthy.  Grades 4 – 5

Check out the Trench Compost: Do you remember the big hole we dug in the second grade cove? If you do, you’ll want to be there when we dig down to see what happened to all those food scraps we put into the hole. What do you think we’ll find??   Grade 2

And after these activities were completed, it was time to enjoy delicious garden nibbles!

Pea shoot pesto: The pea shoots were grown by the fifth graders and, with the help of Whidbey Island Nourishes, blended into a delicious pesto made with olive oil, garlic, grated parmesan cheese, roasted sunflower nuts and a touch of salt. Lyn Kiernan of WIN also made spinach pesto and kale pesto to add to the pesto fun. Yum! The children put the pesto on their veggie creations, and couldn’t get enough of it.

Veggie snack “Maker” station: All the ingredients for a delicious veggie snack were available, from crackers to cucumbers to carrots, to kale and kale flowers, lettuce, bokchoi, spinach and chive flowers.

Garden veggie soup: Whidbey Island Nourishes cooked up the last of the winter squash, took frozen garden veggie broth made from the summer harvests, and with the help of the fourth graders cooked all this pure vegetable goodness into a spectacular soup that had the students coming back for seconds and thirds.