Last week, our 5th and 6th graders had the opportunity to study the ins and outs of gardening by doing two activities for the greenhouse class! They continued on their square foot gardening project Friday, and 6th grade visited Crow Creek on Saturday.
The big project this spring is square foot gardening. Students are following a four step process: discover, dream, design, destiny. The discovery part of this project was researching different kinds of plants. Then students drew inspiration from many types of gardens to dream up ideas for their own gardens, and brainstormed plants they would like to grow. They moved into the design stage where they edited their plant lists to species that do well in our climate and are easy to grow. They are working on gathering all the materials that they will need for their square foot gardens including high quality compost.
Of course plants need soil, water, and sunlight, and so every garden design must start with the soil. This week, the first implementation step, destiny, is to build worm bins to make a home for red wrigglers — a species that has especially beneficial microorganisms in its gut and thus in its manure. Students collected cardboard and newspaper to create a moist and delicious environment for the worms, as well as egg shells to keep the pH from getting too acidic. They are looking forward to building their worm bins and starting seeds!
On Saturday, Greenhouse teacher Lacie Teal led the 6th grade class on a walk to Crow Creek where they collected water samples. These water samples will be sent to a lab for testing to help monitor the health of the creek ecosystem. The saturation of different chemicals, such as nitrogen, will be measured by the lab tests. These measurements will show what types of pollution are present or if the creek is clean which will tell us how wildlife, like frogs and fish, could be affected. We will update you when we get the results!
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