I am sitting at the picnic tables at the labyrinth eating my lunch of beans soup, papaya and a delicious cupcake made by a parent for a birthday celebration last Friday (yummy!) I have some of the greens from our garden in my soup and it is nice to watch things grown while I get nourishment from the harvest. I am also watching several birds enjoying the sunflowers in the garden. A lovely cardinal couple are eating the seeds. A mynah bird keeps coming around to remind them about his territory! And the cats are salivating at the sight of the action. My dog is oblivious and just wants my lunch. LOL! It is so nice to sit on our beautiful campus and enjoy a rest after doing battle with the guinea grass that keeps encroaching on our back garden.
I have been watching the 6th graders heading out to the garden regularly and hoping they are enjoying the garden as much as I do. We have had some difficulties keeping our watering system in the back beds functioning (our hoses keep on busting!!). I am working on a solution to that problem. But the raised beds that are near the labyrinth are doing very well! We have pineapple still growing from the 6th graders. We also picked some yummy yard long beans from the vines they planted. And the 1st graders are the ones who planted the huge sunflowers in the middle bed. I have permission to snip one or two and I can't wait to share them with my preschoolers.
I have some great photos of the produce that is growing. I have the distinct privilege of having daily opportunity to tend the raised beds by the labyrinth as well as the preschool beds and planters. We have some gorgeous cucumbers that have been picked and many more on the way. We had one Japanese cucumber that was longer than a preschooler's arm! We tasted beets and I had beet greens for my dinner! Our tomatoes are doing well and I am so glad I have Cameron Sharp's dad to come give me pruning advice. I learn new things all the time. Here is a list of the plants growing in the garden:
Beets, Chinese Broccoli, chard, Japanese Cucumbers, regular cucumbers, lavender, Dill, Basil (3 types), sunflowers, taro, pineapple, sage, rosemary, Stick oregano, lemon balm, tomatoes (a couple kinds), Lemon verbena, lettuce (a couple kinds), Cuban oregano, feverfew, eggplant (long green kind), Hawaiian chili peppers, mint, stevia, radishes, chives and garlic chives, green onions, collard greens, carrots (sprouting), and a few other starts that we hope will be in the garden in short order.
We have so much potential for more. There never seems to be a stop in the action all year long. It takes a while to get into the swing of the garden. But I am sure that if we keep things going all summer, next year will be off to a running start. We will be in search of families to host a garden bed through the summer. This way we can keep things weeded, make sure the watering happens all summer and our plants are thriving as the next school year rings in. If you are interested in that, please let me know! I am sure we can work out some hearts hours and you can harvest food for your family from the beds!
We will be starting to compost our cafeteria scraps in earnest in the next week or so. We have been experimenting with a variety of composting called "Bokashi". This is an anaerobic (meaning no oxygen) type of composting that ferments the food scraps. I will post more about this later. It is really interesting and I am proud that we will soon be using our food scraps again in a meaningful way. We will also be starting a larger scale worm bin (vermicomposting). I have some worms in the preschool back yard and I know Mrs. Enriquez has some in her classroom also. But big bins are on their way!
I should get home to my family. I am recharged and ready for the next week!
With love and gratitude, Mrs. Nicole ELC 3's Class Teacher (aka: The Garden Fairy)