Yesterday (5/7/2012), we hosted our first group this year utilizing our teaching garden. We had 60 rambunctious students from an afterschool program at Simmons Elementary in Versailles, KY. Students ranged from kindergarten to 5th grade. Students were able to experience the teaching garden, animal adaptation games, and the un-nature trail.
LACBG staff, Barb and Sarah, facilitated the group in the teaching garden. Grades K-2 started with a tour of the teaching garden. They then explored the world of compost using our compost demonstration area. Then they each became their favorite vegetable and jumped into our pot of “veggie soup”. Grades K-2 finished with an activity known as “what’s on your plate.” Students take a close look at fruits and vegetables that they may (or may not) be eating. Each is a specific part of a plant (stem, stalk, root, tuber, fruit, bark, etc…). Instead of veggie soup, grades 3-5 participated in seed, stretch, germination. This activity lets students discover the growth cycle of a mighty oak.
Our teaching garden had a big day at Life Adventure Center of the Bluegrass’s Open House on April 10th. A man stopped by the environmental education table I had set up. Our teaching garden pepper and squash seedlings were center stage for all to see. He asked me a little about environmental education and our teaching garden. As I explained our little operation, he happened to mention that he was the “Governor’s Gardener.” I had to ask him to repeat what he had said as I was in disbelief. He even asked how he could help!
The Governor’s Gardener (GG) has already donated 1,000 tulip bulbs to our organization, which were delivered on Friday (3/13). Turns out the GG had a great time at the open house learning about our organization and what we do. So needless to say our teaching garden had a great boost of support in the last few weeks!
If you’d like to learn more about the Governor’s Gardener and the program he helps oversee, please visit http://greenteam.ky.gov/garden.
Today, we moved the plant flats to the garden for one more day of hardening off before planting tomorrow. They seemed to have weathered the weekend outside. Tomorrow we will be planting most of the flats in the teaching garden finally.
This is Baker, one of our resident dogs on the property. She loves to garden with us.
Due to the rain yesterday afternoon and night as well as today, we have decided to postpone the big day of transplanting. Our teaching garden soil has a pretty high clay content and therefore takes quite a while to dry out. Walking or working in soil that has such a high moisture content makes for a compact and hard to work soil base. So we’re hoping for a couple of days of drying time (which may or may not happen in Kentucky).
Instead of transplanting today, we are using it as another day for hardening off the seedlings. Tonight, we are hoping to leave them out. They have been covered under our patio for the last couple of days. I’m planning to expose them completely on Friday during the day as another measure to harden them off.
Cara did, however, create our rows needed to plant. We are now hoping to plant on May 1st. She diligently hoed away (while in overalls) to make us 10 neat plant rows.