August 11, 2022
The weather this morning was beautiful for our last Summer Garden Day. We had 3 kid helpers today who were very excited to pick tomatoes. They picked 239 tomatoes! They were a combination of cherry and plum tomatoes. We did find quite a few that had split open on the tomatoe plants. We picked 8 small carrots and 3 green beans. They were 6 and 7 inches long.
Our helpers could see that there are more than 25 ears of popcorn growing on the stalks. The tallest stalk is 90 inches long. The girls counted by 12s to figure out that is the same as 7 1/2 feet tall.
The pumpkin vines are beginning to form bloom buds. One leaf was 10 inches acorss. The vines have curly tendrils that help them wrap around other plants. The leaves are “rough and pokey” to keep bugs and animals away.
July 27, 2022
The sun came out just in time for our garden work today. We had 3 kid helpers and 2 adults in the garden today. Everyone was glad to see red tomatoes, big string beans, and very few weeds! The corn is really growing, has tassles, red silk, and ears are growing. One of the stalks was 78 inches tall. One of the beans measured 7 1/2 inches long. We harvested 26 beans and 46 tomatoes. (Some of us couldn’t resist pulling green tomatoes off the plants….they will ripen on a sunny windowsill or can be fried.)
Thanks to Mrs. Martin’s generosity, we had 3 zinnia and several gourd sprouts to plant today. We watered things today since we have not had much rain. The pumpkin seedlings we planted last week look like they are doing well. Our marigolds are amazingly tall — some of them are between 3 and 4 feet tall!! We also harvested dill seeds …tasty in egg salad, or potato salad.
We found some interesting insects today…besides the usual Japanese beetle, we also found a lacewing and something that might be a “big-eyed bug.” Both are beneficial (helpful) insects. Lacewing eat aphids and cornworms. Big-eyed bugs also eat pests. According to the book Good Bug, Bad Bug, they live for 3 months and mature females lay 3 eggs per day. Check out the photos below.
July 13, 2022
This morning we had 4 kid and 3 adult helpers in our garden. There were weeds to pull, but not nearly as many as last time. We found huge tomato plants with green tomatoes, LOTS of marigolds, corn stalks beginning to tassle, bean plants beginning to flower, dill flowering, and carrots growing. We drowned some Japanese beetles that have been munching on bean leaves. Mrs. Martin brought us some pumpkin plants that she started at home and we transplanted them into the garden. They are blue and white varieties, so we’ll be anxious to see how they grow and what the pumpkins will look like in the fall. We also planted some beet seeds in some open spaces.
The kids enjoyed taking pictures today. 🙂 Also thank you to Mrs. Martin for sharing a few photos. We look forward to having produce to harvest next time!
June 22, 2022
We had our first Summer Garden Day this morning. Our 4 kid garden helpers and 4 adult helpers did great work clearing out the weeds that LOVE our garden space. Between and under the weeds, we found a few surprises this morning. There were several radishes that we harvested, and several dill plants that came up on their own. Our corn is growing great and beans are beginning to climb up the corn plants. We have lots of tomato plants (some are flowering) and marigolds, but unfortunately we couldn’t find any pumpkin plants sprouting from the seeds we planted before school ended. We planted some carrot seeds after we cleared a space, and then later, Mrs. O’Donnell uncovered some carrots that were just beginning to sprout from seeds planted earlier. Today’s helpers took home radishes and sprigs of dill.
August 12, 2021
It’s hard to believe that today was the last Summer Garden day! It was a hot one, but 4 helpers went home with a bountiful harvest of grape tomatoes, basil leaves, and dill seeds. While Mrs. Noyes pulled weeds ;-), our garden helpers filled 6 sandwich bags with tomatoes and 7 bags of basil leaves! The dill plants produced an abundance of seeds, so we took some of them home too to use in things like tuna salad or potato salad.
We found one carrot. There is one beet growing and a row of radishes. The corn is developing ears that will be popcorn in the fall. The squash and pumpkin plants both have flowers and we found a baby pumpkin developing.
Thank you all for helping with the garden this summer. Enjoy your last few weeks before school starts!
July 28, 2021
This morning was a beautiful sunny day in the garden. Two gardeners each got to harvest about 30 tomatoes, 10 carrots, and LOTS of basil. We packed a gallon-size bag and there was still more to harvest! The beans we planted last time sprouted and are beginning to climb the corn stalks. A squash and a pumpkin vine are growing. A beet is growing…it was a bit dry, so only one sprout survived. We planted another row of carrots and a row of radishes. Our next and last garden day is Thursday Aug. 12.
July 14, 2021
This morning was pretty humid, but fortunately there were fewer weeds to pull. 🙂 We looked for sprouts where beets, squash, and pumpkin were planted last time. The pumpkin REALLY sprouted. We had to look carefully for the squash and beets, but they did sprout. Beans still did not, so we tried again. We will look next time to see if any have come up.
We dug around our carrot row and harvested 10 good-sized carrots. There are still some in the soil that need more time to grow. There were 3 little grape tomatoes that were ready. The basil plants are producing like crazy, so we harvested a lot. We made and tasted pesto and everyone took a bagful of leaves home. The dill is taller than us and we found some japanese beetles on that and the basil. We drowned them in cups of soapy water so they will stop eating the leaves in our garden.
June 30, 2021
Today was a hot one! Everyone was glad the mask mandate was lifted. 😉 And a BIG THANK YOU to Mrs. Louderback who provided a much appreciated ice cream treat — what a nice surprise!
We had 3 student gardeners and a parent helper today. Thank you Mrs. Tlumach!! There were lots of weeds to pull again today. The dill is even taller and is starting to flower. The tomato plants are doing well and there are some baby tomatoes. The marigolds are geginning to bloom. The corn row looks healthy, but we could not find any beans sprouting yet. One parsely plant is doing well next to a tomato plant (see if you can find it in a picture) and our basil is growing very well. There was one radish left to harvest. The carrots are not ready yet.
We noticed that the two squares where my class had put mulch as part of their science project still did not have weeds, so Mrs. Noyes will bring more mulch later this week and spread it around.
We planted some beet, zuchini, and pumpkin seeds today. The zuchini and pumpkin are both in the squash family. If the seeds sprout and grow, the leaves will shade the soil and help keep weeds from growing.
June 17, 2021
What a year it has been! Toward the end of this school year, learners transplanted tomato, basil, and parsley seedlings, planted corn, radishes, carrots, and marigolds.
Today three garden helpers came to school to help weed, plant and harvest. There were lots of weeds. The dill that comes up on its own each spring is as tall as the kids! Radishes were ready to harvest, as were two carrots that may have sprouted on their own. We snipped some dill and basil leaves to take home. We also planted bean seeds next to the row of corn. Beans take nitrogen from the air and put it in the soil where the roots of the corn use it to grow better. The corn stalks will support the bean vines as they grow.
The hour went VERY quickly! Next time we hope to do more planting in the empty spaces to that weeds don’t keep growing back.
May 30, 2020
I checked the garden, and things are sprouting!! Since the corn sprouted, I planted some bean seeds next to them. The cornstalks will be perfect for the beans to climb. The radishes were starting to go to seed, so I harvested some of them and some lettuce. Fortunately, there were not many weeds.
May 16, 2020
This past week, I “hardened off” your tomato and pepper seedlings. This is the process of setting them outside for a longer time each day to get them ready to transplant into the garden.
On Saturday morning, I weeded the school garden and transplanted your tomato and pepper seedlings. I will check them in a couple weeks and let you know if they survived the transition.
The lettuce, collards, and radishes are growing. I thinned out the radishes so they have room to grow larger. There are many wildflowers that “volunteered” from the patch grown last year. We also have many dill plants that have sprung up from last year’s plant. Black swallowtail butterflies like to pay their eggs on dill and parsley.
While I was cleaning out the weeds, I experienced several plant adaptations….some weeds have the adaptation of mimicry…they look like other plants so we leave them there. Check the pictures for examples. Several have very long roots, called tap roots. There were two weeds that I dug way down and did not find the end of the root. This enables the plant to regrow. another weed had an interesting adaptation to ensure that it would reproduce…As soon as I grabbed it to pull it out, tiny seeds popped out in all directions. I could almost hear them saying, “We’ll be back!” 😉
Since we are not all together, we did not get to have the experience of planting the “three sisters”…corn(popcorn), beans, and squash (pumpkins) the way the Native Americans did. But, since we still had an abundance of seed packets, and since it’s good for crops to be planted differently each year, I planted some different items. I planted a packet of sweet corn, some hills of zucchini, and a row of cucumber seeds. I also planted parsley, basil (goes well with tomatoes) and carrots.
Once the corn sprouts I will plant beans next to them since their adaptation for climbing works well with the corn. Check back every couple of weeks to see pictures of how our garden is doing.
(I was having technical difficulties with photos…see them here.)
May 7, 2020
Earlier this week I was at Blue Ball to clean and organize the classroom. I stopped by the garden to see how things are growing. The garden club had weeded and planted a corner with collards, lettuce, and radishes in the week before we left. Those seeds have sprouted! There are a lot of weeds, but not as many as other years. Also, some wildflowers came up from the flowers that were planted last year. These are called “volunteers” since they came up on their own from seeds the flowers dropped.
The tomato and pepper plants that the garden club started from seeds are still growing on my window sills at home. It’s about time to start “hardening them off” which means putting them outside for a short time at first, and longer each day to get them used to being outside. I hope to be able to transplant them to the school garden in a couple weeks.
The seeds from school that I planted in my deck flower boxes are continuing to sprout and grow. If you are trying some gardening at home, let me know. I’d love to hear how it’s going for you.
April 15, 2020
It’s hard to believe we’ve been staying home for about a month! Today I transplanted our tomato and pepper seedlings into bigger pots so they have room to grow. I didn’t have enough pots, so the smallest ones I put back in the seed tray, but each in their own spot. I also planted half the seed tray with more marigold seeds since none of the ones we planted during Garden Club sprouted. The radishes on my deck needed to be thinned out, and the other veggies are just starting to peek up through the soil. Check back in about two weeks to see how they are all doing.
March 20, 2020
It has become clear that garden club will not be meeting anytime soon. Mrs. Noyes returned to her classroom to “rescue” the tomato and pepper seedlings that sprouted in the past week. They are now thriving on her windowsill at home. Soon they need to be re-potted in something slightly larger.
Mrs. Noyes also planted radishes, beets, carrots, lettuce, and a variety of flowers in her flower boxes at home. (As of Apr.3,the radishes and lettuce have spouted.) Stay tuned!
March 12, 2020
Garden club has planted and observed Amaryllis bulbs, planted herb seeds, tomato, pepper, and marigold seeds. On Thurs. Mar. 12 we got outside to clean up the garden, shake the chaff off our popcorn that was harvested in the fall, and plant some lettuce seeds.
October 31, 2019
This afternoon was a rainy club day, but we had plenty to do. Students enjoyed sampling roasted pumpkin seeds from our prize-winning pumpkin, and salsa from the tomatoes we harvested (yes, the green ones did ripen on the windowsill). We finally got to cut into the mystery orb we harvested…it was solid green and small….was it a young pumpkin? a young watermelon?
Club members husked the corn and shelled the beans. The husks and pods were added to our compost tumbler. We also enjoyed a read-aloud of Plantzilla by Jerdine Nolan.
October 17, 2019
Today our garden club members were busy. We harvested the corn to finish drying inside. We picked lots of green beans and lime beans…we will let them dry also. There were a few red tomatoes and more green ones. We brought some green ones in to ripen on the window sill. Most of them are cherry tomatoes, but there was one large green tomato. We hope it turns red!
Several helpers cleaned out the pumpkin and counted the seeds. Students guessed the number throughout the day. Nick in 6th grade guessed closest to the actual number of 372 seeds.
Mrs. Noyes will finish processing our harvest of pumpkin and beans . We look forward to enjoying roasted pumpkin seeds, a pumpkin treat, and perhaps some bean soup. After the holidays, the corn will be dry enough to remove from the cobs and pop.
October 3, 2019
Today was a cool, rainy day, but our Garden Club members still found plenty to do. We had a huge box of seed packs donated by Home Depot in Exton. We sorted them into bags according to their variety to see what we had. Our gardeners enjoyed learning the names of vegetables and flowers they never heard of.
We also learned last evening that the Blue Ball Garden Pumpkin won a second prize ribbon at the New Holland Fair.
We had a great first day of “Garden Club” this afternoon. Sixteen students from grades 3 to 6 explored and harvested vegetables, herbs, flowers, and seeds today. Many exclamations of joyful surprise were heard as they discovered red tomatoes here and there, several tiny watermelons, a large pumpkin (the largest we’ve ever grown at Blue Ball — with a circumference of 33 inches!), and a mountain of beans. We also harvested basil and collected lettuce seeds. We picked green beans to take home and eat, as well as lima beans that dried on the vine. We saved the seeds to plant next season and added the shells to the compost tumbler.
There are several large green tomatoes, tiny hot peppers, and ears of corn drying on the stalks that we hope to harvest over the next weeks leading into fall.
August 14, 2019
Whew…we managed to get our garden work in before the rain returned. We had excellent garden helpers today! We were able to spend all of our time observing and harvesting — way more fun than pulling weeds!
We picked tomatoes, beans, and some basil. There were 30 perfect tomatoes, 12 that were split, and 2 were still green. We picked a HUGE pile of beans. Students predicted that there were 100, 126, or 150 beans. Then we counted them into piles of 20. It turned out that there were 444 green beans!! Check out the photos below…it looks like Jack planted his beanstalk in Blue Ball’s garden!
There are lima beans growing that aren’t quite ready yet, 4 watermelon, 12 pumpkins, and at least 25 ears of popcorn. We found 9 or more swallowtail caterpillars of various sizes/ages on the dill plants.
Claire noted that “the (pumpkin) leaves are really sticky and kind of pointy and a little itchy. When you reach for them they are kind of itchy.”
Franklin found that bean leaves have little fuzzies on the one side that make them act like velcro and they stick to our clothes.
Thank you to all who participated in Garden Wednesdays! Be sure to take a look when you come to Back-To-School Night in a few weeks.
July 31, 2019
What a great morning! It wasn’t too hot yet, and there were not nearly as many weeds to pull. Hooray!! We had 2 students, 1 parent, 2 teachers, and 1 grandchild helping in the garden today.
There was much more measuring and observing today. The tallest cornstalk is 2 yards tall. The ripe tomatoes had circumferences of 4 inches, 5 inches, and 3 1/2 inches. There were 16 ripe tomatoes today and 50 that were not yet ripe.
We harvested MANY clusters of dill seed today. We found several caterpillars of black swallowtail butterflies. Beets planted last time have sprouted. We decided to let the lettuce go to seed. Beans and lima beans are growing but not yet ready to pick, with LOTS of additional flowers on the vines. Several cornstalks have ears of corn growing with pink silk. The patch of wildflowers has many varieties in bloom right now.
We watered the milkweed growing in a pot, and the beets that are sprouting. We also tried to reroute the pumpkin vine from around the dill plant toward the middle of the garden to help keep weeds from regrowing in the empty area. We even found some baby watermelon growing. Thank you all for your help today!!
July 17, 2019
What a hot morning! We had 2 student gardeners, 1 adult cousin, and 2 teachers working hard today. There were so many weeds!! Our helpers did a FABULOUS job getting rid of all of the tall, grassy weeds in the middle of the garden. We could easily see how weeds took over where nothing was planted.
The dill plant is taller than us!! There are some green tomatoes starting, we found an enormous radish, a handful of green beans, and lettuce that had turned bitter. There are some basil plants that did come up and will be tasty with the tomatoes in a couple weeks. Many of the wildflowers bloomed, and a few milkweed seeds did sprout in our big pot. The beans are doing a great job of climbing up our corn stalks, and there are flowers on the watermelon and squash vines. After the weeds were cleared, we planted some rows of carrots and beets.
This morning we had 2 student gardeners, 1 mom, and 2 teachers working on pulling weeds in our garden. The weeds were very wet and slippery with mud this morning. We found several cornstalks — some with beans sprouting next to them, a row of lima beans, a couple watermelon sprouts, some flowers on tomato plants, and dill almost as tall as our students! We planted some pumpkin seeds, hoping they will sprout and spread to block weeds later in the season. Our helpers were able to harvest some dill to take home.
We hope that next time there might be fewer weeds and more time to observe and measure.
This was another wet, cool spring that limited our time in the garden. Students did design and test some “greenhouse” designs. We eventually planted mounds of corn, some marigold seeds, lettuce, carrots, lima beans, watermelon, and cantalope seeds. On Tues. June 4, we looked for corn that sprouted so we could plant beans in the same mounds. We still need to plant some pumpkin seeds. We were excited to see lots of dill and several tomato plants sprout on their own from seeds that dropped last fall.
We have 4 garden helpers signed up to help with the garden over the summer. We look forward to seeing what happens over the next couple of weeks.
Aug. 15, 2018
Today was our final Garden Wednesday for this summer. We had 7 amazing garden student-helpers and a team of third grade teachers. Thank you so much, parents for bringing your students to school in the summer, and students for being willing to do some fun work outside, and fellow teachers for helping to make it happen.
Today we harvested, measured, and observed many things. We found the mysterious eggs from last time have hatched into small squash bugs that are eating the pumpkin leaves. We got rid of the rest of the eggs that we could see, and poured a soapy water solution on the rest to try to deter them.
Most of the corn stalks are 1 to 2 yards tall. some tomatoes were 4 inches around. We found 20 ears of corn that we will pick in the fall. We harvested 5 orange pumpkins today. They were about 19 inches around. We harvested 3 carrots that were less then 2 inches long, 2 more beets, and 9 green beans. We also took home more dill, and deadheaded the marigold plants. We’ve never seen such large marigold plants! We also cleaned up our weed pile mess, and found it had composted itself into usable soil. We moved that back into the garden box and emptied the compost tumbler.
Aug. 1 Addendum
Mrs. Noyes researched what type of insect eggs we found…it appears they are squash bugs (stink bugs). We should have removed them! Hopefully the rainstorm overnight washed them away.
Also, one of our gardeners put the dill we harvested to good use.
Aug. 1, 2018
The weather cooperated and we had 4 student and 2 adult gardeners today. Fortunately, there were fewer weeds, and we spent more time observing, harvesting, and measuring. We observed bean plants climbing up corn stalks. We discovered marigold seeds inside the dead marigold flowers. We discovered tiny red eggs on one pumpkin leaf and newly hatched bugs on another. We’re not sure what they are. We harvested 2 beets…one was 23 cm around! We also harvested 34 carrots, some parsley, and some dill. The smell of the dill reminded us of dill pickles. 🙂 The carrots were all different sizes and shapes. Some were twisted around each other. Here are the measurements of the lengths of the carrots: 20cm, 6cm, 13cm, 16cm, 15cm, 16cm, 12cm, 7cm, 3cm, 10cm, 5cm, 11cm, 8cm, 10cm, 7cm, 9cm, 8 1/2 cm, 7cm, 8cm, 7cm, 8cm, 5cm, 6cm, 9cm, 6cm, 6cm, 6cm, 6cm, 5cm, 2cm, 5cm,2cm. anyone want to make a line plot of this data for next time? Be sure to check out the photos below.
July 31, 2018
We had an eager gardener who wanted to work today. Thank you Mrs. Mergenthaler for facilitating this. Thank you both for pulling weeds, turning the compost, and making observations! Here is what they observed, hypothesized, and concluded:
We saw 6 pumpkins. One measured 21 inches around. We saw 8 carrots and 27 green tomatoes. The corn is 75 inches tall. Next time we might see more carrots, more pumpkins, the pumpkins might be more orange, and the tomatoes maybe will turn orange. “Next year try to keep not as many pumpkins in the garden because there will be more corn, carrots, and tomatoes that could grow then instead of a lot of squash or pumpkins.”
July 11, 2018
What great helpers we had today…4 teachers and 4 students. We pulled LOTS of weeds again, as you can see from the photos below. We pulled out the radish plants and students took home the seed pods to try — they are edible. I’ll be curious what you thought of them. They also took home some lettuce today. Our tallest cornstalk is 57 inches tall.
June 27, 2018
Happy Summer! The rain stayed away this morning as 4 students and 2 teachers worked on ridding the garden of weeds. “There were a lot of weeds,” said Addie. We also planted more corn and beans. We found several tomato plants. A dill and a parsley are growing, and the marigolds look great. We found some unusual pods and realized they were attached to the radishes we had planted. The radishes never formed due to the weather conditions when we planted them, but flowered and formed pods. Mrs. Noyes researched and discovered they are the seed pods and are edible. Maybe we’ll try some in a couple weeks. https://www.gardeningknowhow.com/edible/vegetables/radish/radish-seed-saving.htm
Thank you to our hardworking weed-pullers. There should be fewer weeds next time!
May 24, 2018
It was a loooonngggg winter and a cold spring. We did get some carrots, radishes and beets planted in early May. In the past two days we did major weeding. Today we planted corn, and transplanted tomatoes, peppers, basil, dill, parsley, and marigolds that we had started in our classrooms. Mrs. Noyes’ ELA class did a super job with all the planting tasks. Thank you to Mrs. M.’s class for helping with the weeding.
We found some surprises in the garden this spring. Onions planted several years ago came up. Some lettuce came up on its own. And the other year, Mrs. Dissinger’s class read Sophie’s Squash and planted it in the corner of the garden. This year her descendants sprouted.
Photos by Sara and Damian.
Nov. 3, 2107
The beginning of the year was super-busy. We harvested corn, lots of tomatoes, and some banana peppers. We enjoyed some salsa and look forward to popcorn later in the year. We are running an experiment to see if we can grow vegetables in October…radishes sprouted, and are larger in the cold-frame than out of it. Today we cleaned up the rest of the garden for the winter and prepared our compost tumbler (Thank you Mrs. Leed!!). We look forward to watching the nutrient cycle in action.
August 9, 2017
Wow! Another gorgeous day for garden work! We have been very fortunate this year. Eight students and three teachers arrived this morning anxious to see how the garden grew, and boy did it ever! Thankfully, there were no weeds to pull this week. See their photos and observations below.
The garden is growing very fast. There was a lot of basil growing in the garden. There were a lot of pumpkins and not a lot of tomatoes or banana peppers. There were tons of pumpkins that were starting to grow. I found a pumpkin that was 7 1/2 inches around. Also another pumpkin was 15 1/2 inches around. We found a pumpkin that is 6 1/2 inches in circumference. The banana peppers are 6 inches long. We picked 38 green beans. A bean is 7 1/2 inches long. There are 9 corn stalks. The tallest corn stalk is 106 inches tall. A small tomato that I found has a circumference of 3.5 inches. There were 7 pumpkins. We found a caterpillar and it is 2 1/2 inches long.
July 26, 2017
Today we had pleasant temperatures and cloudy conditions for our garden work. We had 8 enthusiastic student gardeners and 3 teachers helping. We were happy to see fewer weeds today! This gave us more time to write down some observations:
We saw two baby pumpkins. We saw pretty yellow flowers. The tomato leaves feel lumpy. We saw marigolds. The sunflowers (we did not plant these! They came up from seeds dropped in prior years) are about 60 inches tall. Corn is about 79 inches tall. There’s not many weeds, more plants. The sunflower plant’s leaves are so soft. There is probably a watermelon or pumpkin (there was quite a debate about what the green and white striped globe could be) that is 5 inches tall. The garden feels like a jungle when you step into it. We picked basil, lettuce, and beans. The beans feel soft and bumpy. There are 207 tomatoes! We counted 39 pumpkin flowers and predict we might get 20 pumpkins. There are curly things coming off the pumpkin plants. The garden looks like a jungle. A bean is 6 1/2 inches long.
July 12, 2017
Another great gardening day. It was warmer, but cloudier than last time. We had 8 wonderful student weed-pullers, assisted by all of our third grade teachers. There was lots to do and observe, and everyone went home with some lettuce and basil, and a few were able to take home our 4 radishes. See below for today’s comments and photos.
The bean plant in the back corner is 34.25 inches tall. One of the corn plants is 39.25 inches tall. Right now the weed pile is 2ft 2in. tall. We counted 34 tomato plants. (We did not plant that many!! Lots of them came up from dropped tomatoes last year…we are looking forward to making salsa!)
June 21, 2017
We had a great day for gardening, with low humidity and 9 outstanding helpers. We weeded, measured plants, and harvested lettuce. See below for their measurements, comments, and photos.
Corn is 24″ and 26″ tall. The width of our lettuce row is 31″. Our pumpkin plant is 17 inches across. Our spinach plants are 5″, 6″, 7″, 5″, 3″, and 2″ tall. The dill plants are 8″ and 6″ tall. The squash is 20″ and a tomato plant is 8″ tall.
“I saw that our plants are growing fast.” “I saw that there were a lot of weeds.” “I saw that the corn was very tall.” “I saw that the plants have heart-shaped leaves.” “All the corn plans looked healthy.” “I saw that all the corn grew a lot and lots of the plants grew really big!” “I saw that the plants grew slow.” “I saw lots of corn and a whole lot of weeds.” “Today we were pulling out weeds. It was fun. It felt like a great day to pull out weeds.”
In the last weeks of school, we planted corn, beans and pumpkin seeds. We had grown tomatoes, peppers, and herbs from seeds in the classroom. These were transplanted into the garden.
August 3, 2016
We again had five super-helpful gardeners this morning. There was lots to see and harvest today. We harvested one onion, one carrot, a bunch of beets, basil, and beans. The carrot measured 26 1/2 inches from the tip of the food part to the top of the greens. A bean was 6 1/2 inches long. The helpers were so disappointed that there weren’t as many weeds to pull today, that they asked if they could pull the weeds in the memorial flower garden in another part of the courtyard! They pulled out LOTS of thistles! Take a look at the garden during Back-to-School Night (Aug 24 K-3 &MDS, Aug. 25 Gr. 4-6), and we’ll see everyone when school starts on the 29th!!
July 20, 2016
We had five fabulous helpers in the garden today. There was excellent teamwork happening…pulling weeds, measuring very tall plants, catching beetles, and harvesting beets and basil. We found lots of baby chili peppers, a few green tomatoes, some skinny green beans climbing up the cornstalks, Bernice has two babies, and there are a few pumpkins beginning to grow. We harvested three beets. We decided to let the others grow now that there is more room. One small onion got pulled out. Here are measurements the students took today: The biggest squash leaf is 12 inches. Biggest pumpkin is 5 inches. Biggest squash circumference is 11 inches. The tallest corn is 100 inches. The tallest tomato plant is 39 inches tall. A beet was 5 inches.
July 6, 2016
We had five student gardeners working hard today. There were lots of weeds again– next time there shouldn’t be as many. Besides pulling weeds, today we caught Japanese beetles in cups of soapy water — they were feasting on the leaves of our beets and basil. We also dead-headed our marigolds, and took several measurements. Squash leaves are 8″, 9 1/2″, and 9 3/4″ wide. The corn stalks are 60 inches/152 centimeters tall. Some of them have bean vines climbing up them. Spicy pepper leaves are 2 inches long, and the butternut squash has leaves of 3 1/2 and 2 1/2 inches. We noticed the beginnings of a squash and also discovered that squash leaves and stems are quite prickly! We harvested the rest of the lettuce, many basil leaves, and one beet. We decided to let the rest of the beets grow bigger.
When we finished outside, we checked on our pot of potatoes. Unfortunately, two weeks is too long to go without water, and the plant parts had shriveled up. We dug around in the soil and discovered the original potatoes had rotted away. There were a few tiny new potatoes (an inch or less across). The students practiced drawing conclusions and making a new hypothesis: perhaps my next class should try starting potatoes in the pot at the beginning of the year.
June 22, 2016
We had nine student gardeners today. They worked very hard pulling lots of weeds, observing, and harvesting some early vegetables. Here are their observations: The corn is growing and the beans are growing on the corn to support it. The plants are very tall. The corn is 39 inches tall.
Cherry Crest Adventure Farm is participating with Rohrer Seeds to promote Ag Week. They are giving away pumpkin seeds to children every Saturday in June. Plant the seeds, grow the pumpkins, then sign up in October to participate in contests at Oregon Dairy or Cherry Crest. (Or enter it in the New Holland Fair!)
We had a very busy school year. In May, third graders took turns preparing the garden for planting. When the weather cooperated, we planted the “three sisters” along with some other vegetables. We are looking forward to Garden Wednesdays throughout the summer.
August 5, 2015
We had another beautiful, sunny garden day with eight great student helpers. These are their observations: The sunflowers are still growing. One flower is 16 inches long and 4 inches around. One sunflower stalk is 2 inches wide, and 3 1/2 meters tall, and it has a big yellow sunflower at the top. We harvested tomatoes, carrots, and beans today. Whoever eats it shall be satisfied and happy. There are lots of female pumpkin flowers, and some males too, so we will have pumpkins. The marigolds are doing good and have lots of flowers. One of the corn stalks is 108 inches tall.
Some of the things we wonder: Why didn’t beans grow as well last year? How many beans are there this year?
July 22, 2015
We had a beautiful sunny (not too humid) day for gardening. Our helpers today observed the following: The tallest sunflower is taller than the building and is around 4 meters/156 inches tall. Maybe it will become 200 inches tall. We picked LOTS of beans again today. The longest bean was 8 inches long. One of the boys thought a rotting bean felt like applesauce. We also pulled weeds and picked lettuce today. There are still many japanese beetles having lunch in the garden, but they are not reducing the harvest. How big is the tallest flower? Exactly when is the first pumpkin going to be ready? (Our hypothesis is that it will be ready in late September or early October.
July 8, 2015
Many of our gardeners are away this week, but we had one very good student helper, three teachers, and a teacher’s sister to help today. We pulled lots of weeds, and observed Japanese beetles eating lunch among the leaves. Our sunflowers are growing very tall. Lily and Mrs. Williams measured the three main sunflower plants. A leaf was 26″ long. The smallest stalk was 65″, the medium one was 74″, and the tallest was 105″ tall! We have “a jungle of bean” plants. We harvested 4 gallon-size bags of beans today. The longest bean was 8 1/2 inches long! We also harvested some lettuce and spinach. We are looking forward to carrots and beets sometime soon.
June 24, 2015
Today was our first Garden Wednesday of the year. We had 5 student gardeners today. The first thing we observed was that the wind from last night’s storm blew over one of the cold frames onto some plants. Here are the rest of our observations: It is a sunny day. I see a lot of bean plants. A sunflower was 56 inches tall. Everything is growing. The radishes are huge. One of them looks like it was eaten. Some of them have started to split. The radish is 6 inches tall and 5 1/2 inches around. Tomato plants are 36 inches tall. We pulled a lot of weeds.
We planted corn in mounds (complete with buried fish heads), then planted beans and pumpkin to complete the “three sisters” as the Native Americans did. Many beans had “volunteered”, or sprouted, from last years’ dropped seeds.
We have planted some vegetable and herb seeds in containers, and plan to sow early vegetables in the garden under our cold frames. After the last frost in mid-May, we will plant the rest of the garden with corn, beans, and squash the way the Native Americans did.
Students will review the scientific method as they ask questions, make hypotheses, plan the best way to test them, collect data, and draw conclusions. We should be able to harvest some lettuce, spinach, and radishes before the end of the school year. Students may help harvest the corn, beans, and squash next school year if their fourth grade classes pair up with the then third-graders.
Watch for information near the end of the year about helping with the garden over the summer. See below for photos from last summer.
Student observations 8/6/14 (the last Garden Wednesday for this summer):
The circumference of a tomato is 12 inches. We found a bean that is 9 inches long. The tallest sunflower is 272 cm/ 108 in. tall. The tallest cornstalk is 67 in./168 cm tall. The circumference if a pumpkin is 22 in./56 cm. A pumpkin leaf is 33 cm/ 13 in. across. The pumpkins are fuzzy like a peach, but a little poky. We hypothesized that they are “a little poky” for protection.
The students harvested tomatoes, peppers, and beans today. They measured all the beans and made a tally chart and then a graph to find the shortest (minimum), longest (maximum) and most frequent length (mode) of the beans. See the photos below for their graph. Thank you to all the students, parents, and teachers who helped tend the garden over the summer!
Our garden has produced several pumpkins. We have measured their circumference, and this week will weigh them and compare the weights to the circumferences. We chose one to enter in the New Holland Fair. Be sure to stop by the exhibits and take a look. We are looking forward to harvesting our popcorn this month. Once harvested, we will work on preparing the garden for winter.