All posts tagged: Summary

News from the GMS Honey Bee Hive

When we arrived back to school this fall the bees were on the defensive. We went into the hive to check the honey stocks and brood production, but the bees were very grumpy and there were not as many full frames of honey as we expected. It wasn’t evident why they were defensive so we called in a local honey bee expert, permaculturalist, and friend, Amy Moyle, to help us figure out what was going on. Amy was immediately concerned about their behavior and suspected that something had been antagonizing the hive – possibly a skunk. We decided to deter any bee-eating predators by setting out a nail board (a board at the base of the hive with tiny nails in it.) An entrance reducer in the front limits the amount of space for bees to enter the hive and this allows the guard bees more thorough surveillance of the hive. This had been knocked out of place – evidence mounting for the skunk suspect! After several weeks of working with the bees and feeding …

January 2015

When I tell parents, teachers, or friends that I’m a garden teacher, they inevitably ask: “So, what do you do in the winter?” My answer? “We pour over seed catalogs, cook with vegetables we stored in the fall, learn bird songs and make corn husk dolls. It’s true—there is less to do in the gardens in the winter, but we slow down and appreciate the larger, seasonal environment where we work and play.” As the temperatures dropped, we’ve moved most of our gardening classes indoors. This summer and fall we were blessed with particularly bountiful crops of sweet potatoes, popcorn, and Blue Hopi corn. Last week’s Primary classes made popcorn together, from the dry-stored crop we harvested in October. In anticipation of this tasty treat, we each transformed into popcorn kernels. Inside each of us was a tiny drop of water. When Jenny placed us in the pot with a little oil and salt, the water inside started to heat up and before we knew it…POP! We were ready to eat! Lower and Upper Elementary …

What have UE students been up to in the garden?

In Upper El this semester students planted carrots, turnips, beets, radishes, rutabaga, kale, collards, cabbages, broccoli, Asian greens, lettuces, garlic, Daikon radishes, spinach, and fava beans. They learned a lot and noticed many interesting phenomena in the garden. Students studied seeds, the many ways they grow, and they got hands on experience saving seeds during harvest time. They also harvested and experimented with a special seed/grain, Amaranth. They noticed many of the insects and animals in the garden and the ways that these animals interact with nature, and how much the natural world depends on them. Students were very excited to observe a special guest, Speckles the hen, as she pecked, scratched, fertilized, and ate in the garden. This experience highlighted many of these interconnections between plants, animals, microbes, and insects. Students studied soil and practiced the basics of making good compost. They measured seedlings as they grew and noticed the stages they went through. Students also learned about perennial plants and all of their benefits. They studied one in particular named comfrey and learned …