The last few weeks of school are always full of a flurry of activities. School gardens are not an exception; we feel the squeeze as the students start to count down the days. There are so many i’s to dot and peas to pick and so little time to get in the summer vegetables and plant the sweet potatoes slips.
Are you feeling the same squeeze? Are you scratching your head trying to figure out how to fit it all in?
The answer may be different for everyone but for us at Mallinckrodt Academy, Shaw VPA, Gateway Elementary and Clay is that we make time for outdoor education and we stick with it against all odds, sort of how you would to lunch periods.
I wanted to share our week in the nutshell using pictures to convey all the ways we have used our school garden this past week or two.
It will be all over before you know it but while you are at it don’t forget to
and pick up your sweet potato slips. It makes for a great finale. enter the Sweet Potato Competition
A little note from students found on the garden’s chalkboard.
Gateway Greening Board members came and worked alongside of Mallinckrodt students and parents one fine April Saturday morning. Here they are preping student made pavers.
Pulling out raddishes to add to the salad we made for the Saturday workday with GGI board.
GGI’s executive director was at Mallinckrodt work day with his whole family. Here they are sharing with the group the highlights of their experience on this workday.
GGI staff and board members, Mallinckrodt parents, and students sitting down at the school’s outdoor classroom at the end of the work day to share a salad made using ingredients from the garden.
Fifth grader at Mallinckrodt Academy preparing salad with the help from Amanda Doyle, a parent of a 2nd grader at Mallinckrodt.
This is the aftermath of the Earth Day. Thank you Earth Day for helping Gateway Greening squirrel away all the strawbales for the season. Thank you Laura Allers-Lowry.
We now have a plenty of straw to keep those potatoes hilled and keep all those weeds at bay.
A student had made a nest during art class that she wanted to bring outside so the birds can use the yard from to create a real nest. Garden fever comes in many shapes and colors.
2nd Graders at Mallinckrodt hatched out some chickens and 3rd graders raised them. A few students created a chicken hotel out of boxes for them to live in. Here a student is creating a little library.
Chicken hotel with different rooms and doors cut out in the boxes.
Students came out to the garden to learn how to make a salad using the lettuce from their garden. Thank you Diana Finlay for the lesson on the easy dressing recipe.
Fourth graders are reading Seedfolks and creating their own seedfolk bed. So far we they have planted beans and here they were planting Goldenrod.
Giving up recess to work with Ms. Punita. I often hear students say, ”This is more fun than recess. All we ever do during recess is play four square.”
We do not have a yard waste dumpster so using all these sticks we attempted a hugelkultur bed.
More of the chicken hotel.
This by far is the coolest chicken hotel in Saint Louis, I hope these chickens know that.
Not too long ago my co-worker taught me about this beautiful native black locust. They were in bloom in our region last week. Here students at Shaw VPA are getting to know about black locust.
Learning with Mrs. Diana. Here they were tasting Kohlrabi.
Weeding and chatting at Shaw VPA.
Seeds we had collected during our seeds class in fall are being used this spring for soap making. Be sure to check out our YouTube channel to see our video on how to make soap in the garden.
Watching the soap melt.
Students at Mallinckrodt leading a tour of their garden for our Garden programs biggest supporter. Here they are showing off the bug hotel.
Shaw VPA students also got to show off all their hard work in the garden.
Routinely we uproot mint and put it outside for parents to pick up after school.
All planned activities come to an halt when this guests visit or are discovered by students. And when these guests are discovered by students in our garden they stop all planned activities and focus on them.
What a beautiful creature.
Endless joy of tumbling a composter.
Hard at work!
Serious weeding at Gateway Elementary. This all girls class just got done with MAP testing and we heard weeding is quite an antidote to test related stress.
Planting ninebark they secured from Gateway Greening’s Great Perennial Divide. Thank you Hannah for all the effort you put in to GPD to beautify our city.
Go Gateway! The all girls class and their teacher cleaned up a patch of weeds quite nicely to plant some plants they got from Gateway Greening’s Great Perennial Divide.
More GPD plants going in at Gateway Elem.
This kind of weeding is what students don’t care for much, can you tell?
Cleaning up after all the weeding and planting.
We are hoping to clean up the whole bed eventually.
Loot from Great Perennial Divide.
Mallinckrodt also got some plants and these students were forced to help with GPD planting by their mother after school. 🙂
Any fieldtrip to Bell is not complete without Petting Fluffy Georgia.
Kindergartners and their parents came for a visit to Bell Garden this past Saturday.
-Punita Patel, Youth Educator