Month: February 2015

What’s growing in the winter garden?

The hardiest of the cool weather vegetables can survive the winter. Some of them will need protection from harsh freezing temperatures and some of them can withstand temperatures down to 10 degrees! Interestingly, the adaptation that allows them to survive, also makes them sweeter. When it gets cold, these plants convert some of their starch stores into sugar, which prevents their cells from freezing. It’s the same concept as salt on the road — the presence of salt, or in this case sugar, lowers the freezing point of water. Lettuce, Spinach, and Cilantro are growing under plastic row covers. We follow Elliot Coleman’s four season gardening method, low tunnels heating up with the sun on cool days and protecting from crippling temperatures at night. We plant lettuce in succession to have a fresh supply throughout the winter and early spring. We’ve been using these greens nearly every week in restaurant to make a side salad that feeds 40+. Did you know that lettuce is related to dandelions and was first cultivated by ancient Egyptians? Spinach, …

Garden works in primary

These works take the overarching concepts of the garden and break them into smaller components – comprehensible for the 3-6 year old child. They also offer meaningful work to the child that will allow them to observe and tend to the garden. These lessons lay the groundwork for bigger practical works in the future. Tools and materials for the works are set out in outdoor cubbies. Once a child has learned all of the works there is opportunity for free choice. First, however, it is important to teach students how to do each work properly and how to clean up a work to get it ready for the next person wishing to use it. We do this in small groups of 6-10 children, taking approximately 15 minutes to teach a work from start to finish, and then we give them a chance to practice. Digging Works Trowel control/ digging down: Various size pots are buried in the soil. The student’s task is to use a trowel to empty all of soil from the pots, effectively …