Wednesday, May 30, 2012

This Just In... (the planter boxes!)

Speedy Grade Seven's filled 20 feet of planter boxes in 30 minutes!
 They will be Superstars to the Kindergarten class that will plant on June 1st!
 They even had time to protect the circle bench seedlings
Getting some hands-on experience with the classroom learnings about soil composition, we made a mix! Mature compost, lawn clippings, boulevard trimmings, mushroom manure, potting soil and top quality soil from West Creek Farms was combined to create nutritious organic soil.  These planter boxes will be able to support plant life for years to come.  Glacier Rock Dust is one of the ingredients.

Moving Mountains

Grade 7's will load the parking lot planters applying their knowledge about soil ingredients.  We will combine soil, lawn clippings, mature compost, potting soil, and leaves so those planters will yield nutritious foundations for gardens in the future.  Two years ago we unloaded a dump truck full that was spread around the back garden to nourish the 'naturalized' play area.

Two Kindergarten classes will plant their seedlings into the planter boxes that the Grade 7's filled.  These boxes are similar to the ones they have been constructing at Tupper Tech to leave a legacy project behind.

The soil photographed here is from West Creek Farms.  They sell quality organic soils.  We even had to wash our tires coming into the facility - to keep foreign weed seeds out of their products!

Friday, May 18, 2012

Sundogs at Dawn & Ghost Potatoes

At 6:30 am the watering wagon makes its rounds with icy cold water on our wee seedlings roots.  Before the alarms go off the school is calm, the bikeway is busy with commuters and the sky had what was only thought of as a hot sunny afternoon phenomenon.  Sundogs - circular rainbow halos around the sun - were seen as the sun tripped over the school roof on its longer day ascent.

Perhaps not so sup rising - we missed a few of the 228 potatoes from the Grade One class in the back planter box.  Along with Dawn's raspberries in their 'holding' section and Lisa's freshly planted sunflowers awaiting their new homes, there are about 5 potato plants ready to do another life cycle.  Gardening is definitely not boring :-) !

Thanks to the Kindergarteners who helped plant almost 100 sunflowers and nasturtiums, some to take home and some to leave so that when they come back as Grade One students, they will be taller than they are!

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Happy Mudder's Day!

A group of 8 moms and a parade of water carrying children 
planted over 50 sunflowers after school the Friday of Mother's Day weekend.
They are tiny now, but could grow to be taller than the tallest teacher!

We invented a new kind of flag to help them get watered as well as protect them from being stepped on while watering other plants! It's a paper holder and some nylon mesh. They are waterproof and reusable.  The materials came from the inspiring 'Urban Source' recycling store on Main Street in between 15th and 16th, a few storefronts south of Heritage Hall.

Please leave the flags where they are.
If you want to help us water this summer - a day, a week, or a day of the week, just ask!

Sunday, May 6, 2012

Superheroes plant Potatoes!

Was it a Potato-a-thon?

A classroom set of potatoes were planted in our lasagna patch during our outdoor walking fundraiser. Whomever heard of potato lasagna?  Well, now you have!

On the day of the walk-a-thon - well, indeed, during the senior walkathon, a Grade One class with a superhero 'theme', were seen wearing capes, digging, laying stone paths, and then Superhero Julia made way for the ONLY rain during the outdoor event rain right ON top of the potato patch.  Amazing. 
No leaping of tall buildings in a single bound, but close on the magic scale.  We even planted right before a full moon, the moonrise the next day was a huge orange moon 14% larger than normal, the largest this year.  Just wait until those potatoes start growing!  

The first part of potato growing happens under the ground, so if you may think that nothing is happening, think again!  This smart plant is forming all of its roots and tubers through our layers of soil (thanks for the spot-on delivery, Henry!), leaves, compost, straw, manure and, yes, cardboard to reclaim the sod.
With any luck, they'll be mashing in September.  

This area of the school gets great south and west sunlight and radiant heat from the gym wall during the summer.  If you want to join our 14 watering families, let us know.  The potatoes should thrive here in our first in-ground food garden.  Stay tuned next week when Grade Two's will plant corn and beans!
Ms Griffiths and Ms Andrews have already planted sunflowers and nasturtiums for the welcome gardens.

Able to plant a classroom of potatoes in a single hour !
Thanks to Julia and Libby our parent superheroes.

Walk-a-thon Weather Fairies hard at work keeping students dry.
Note the cloud only headed to the potato patch :-)
Potato joke:  Q: What's a frogs favourite lunch?   A: French Flies :-)