Here is some fall news from garden coordinator Jeannie Revello and other teachers:
Cottage and Gatewood students have been enjoying the learning garden daily this fall. Students look forward to “outside science” days, where they have a diverse environment for observing, taking notes, taking care of plants and working together.
Students have observed the plants’ life cycles, including the decomposition process both in the garden and in the compost and worm bins. Taste observations include that some vegetables taste more bitter as they begin to produce seeds toward the end of their life cycle.
The tomatoes continue to ripen, though this may be their final week, making room for kale, spinach, swiss chard, clover and rye to flourish. Students love to touch, smell and taste herbs, including sorrel, sage, parsley, and spearmint.
Some students take books outside and sit on the logs to read, while teachers work with small groups in the garden. Some have noticed how the birds are distributing seeds. One class harvested a pumpkin, planted the pumpkin seeds inside, and is making predictions about their future growth.
Students have begun to plant perennial herbs including lavender, rosemary, sage, thyme, winter savory and chives in the sensory garden, and labeled stakes to identify plants.
We’re working with Tilth Alliance on scheduling a garden education workshop for Gatewood teachers in the late winter/early spring, to help make more connections between the garden and classroom curricula.