APG Plant Sale and Farmers Market!! Friday May 2nd and Sunday May 4th

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Spring is in full effect and that means it’s time to start planning for your summer garden!

Come and support our garden program by buying vegetables and plants that were planted by APG garden students!

Your support will help us raise money for improvements in our garden such as a new storage shed, cob bench, new wheelbarrows, seeds, tools and more!

The first APG plant sale and  farmers market  will be held three times this week…

-Friday, May 2nd- Lunch time- Garden

-Friday, May 2nd- After school- 3:45-5:30 pm.  In front of door near after school pickup

-Sunday, May 4th- 10-4pm- In garden during cob oven workshop

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We will be selling three varieties of kale, red russian, lancinato( dino kale), and curly kale.

We will be selling plants from different summer varieties….

Plant Starts:

-Summer squash- zucchini, yellow, lemon squash

-Corn- Dent and Sweet

-Beans- Scarlet runner and Ojo De Cabra, and string

-Cucumbers

-Sunflowers

Veggies, Herbs and Seeds:

Seed balls- Calendula, mustard and carrot seeds

Mustard greens

Kale

Chard

Dry Lavender bundles

and more!

All vegetables and plants are sold by suggested donation! All items are available on a first come first serve basis. We have a limited supply of certain items and more of others. If the sale goes well we will continue to have a farm stand on Fridays through the rest of the school year.

Contact Lindsey Whited with any questions, lindseymariewhited@gmail.com.

 

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Here Mr. Rothman’s class is organizing plants by type.

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We planted two varieties of sunflowers, teddy bear and autumn beauty.

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Here 6th graders are labeling the plants they planted with the type of plant, variety and date.

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Natural Bulding Cob Oven Workshop Day 1

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Thanks to all the parents, students and community members who came out on April 12th for our first natural building cob oven workshop. We had so much  fun getting our hands and feet in the clay, we made a great team. ! We are one step closer to firing up garden veggie pizzas and other baked goods for our community!

Next oven building workshop is Sunday, May 4th from 10-4p.m.

Here are a few pictures showing the step-by-step process of building the base. 

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The first step of building the oven is laying the foundation. Davin from Eco-SF stamped down the drain rock so we had a flat service to build on.

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We used urbanite (broken up sidewalk) that was delivered for free from the DPW. Urbanite is an abundant city resource that can be used for building. It was important to stack it tightly  together to have a strong foundation.

 

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One of the best parts of natural building is getting to use your feet to mix the clay. We used a ratio of 1 bucket of sand to 2 buckets of clay. We added a little bit of water to make it all stick. The mix we used for the base isn’t cob because it is absent of straw. The mix we made is more of a mortar to help hold the urbanite in place.

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So much fun!

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Here Davin shows us how to check our mix. You mold it into a ball then drop it on the ground to see how well it holds together.

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Once the clay mortar was finished we started placing it around the urbanite to help everything stack together firmly.

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Once the base was at the desired height we starting filling wine bottles in the center. The air in the wine bottles act as a barrier between the oven it’s self and the base to the base doesn’t conduct heat.

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Group shot! A beautiful day of  team work and community building!

Growing Soil: The “Om” Solution

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What is “Om”?

Om isn’t just the mantra we chant while meditating or doing yoga, in the garden it also refers to organic matter.

The 6th grade classes learned that the reason we want to make organic matter in the garden is so we can provide nutrients to our plants. The more organic matter we create the more life we create. In nature 1 inch of organic matter takes 1,000 years to accumulate. In the garden we can make organic matter, also known as compost, in a few short weeks.

All the 6th grade classes learned how to make compost in the garden in two different ways, through our 3 bin compost system and vermi-composting( worm composting).

In our three bin system we use dead plants from the garden and some food scraps along with straw and chicken poop to create healthy rich compost that we can use in the garden.  We create layers  in our compost cake, the  greens being (nitrogen) and browns being (carbon). Even though chicken poop is mostly brown it is actually a great source of nitrogen for our pile. Making compost is an aerobic process, meaning it needs air to break down. In the garden we usually flip the pile 2-3 times per week to help speed up the decomposition process.

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Here students flip the compost to incorporate more air into the pile and chop dead plants into small pieces so they will break down faster.

 

Vermi-Composting is a fast and efficient way to make compost and recycle food scraps. Composting worms, also known as red wrigglers, can eat half their own body weight or more every day. This means that after adjusting to their new home, 1 lb. of worms will eat approximately 1/2 lb. of food each day.

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Students sort through old worm casting to find worms to add to our new worm bins.

Steps for building a worm bin-

1. Sort worms

2. Rip up newspaper and get it wet, like a rung out sponge.

3. Get two bins that can be stacked inside each other. Drill holes in the bottom of the top bin so the worm castings( worm poop) will fall to the bottom bin for easy collecting. Drill holes on the sides so worms can breath.

3. Add worms to bottom bin on top of some wet newspaper, this makes a nice soft bed for them.

4. Add food scraps and newspaper in the top bin. Worms will work their way up to eat the food. Worms are mostly vegans, they like most fruits and veggies , coffee grounds and egg shells are nice. Please don’t feed the worms oily or fatty foods, meat,  dairy, sugar, processes foods, and please no citrus fruits such as lemons and oranges.

5. Put lid on the top and keep in shady spot.

 

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The students love using power tools in the garden. Here students are drilling holes in the bottom of the bin so worm castings can be harvested.

 

Nature Journaling Week 3

 

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For our third week in the garden, we started with a pebble meditation, where students do a silent walking meditation while gathering four pebbles. We all walked across the entire garden to a shady area under some trees, since it was an uncharacteristically warm late winter day in March. The pebble meditation helped the students relax and focus their intentions for their garden time after their long and active day at school. The skills the students learn by practicing meditation can help them manage stress and connect with their own thoughts and feelings during a time in their lives when they are growing and facing new struggles and stresses.

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After meditating peacefully in the shade, we made our way back to the outdoor classroom circle and shared some poems from the previous week. Students were encouraged to look at one another’s progress in the garden journals to get ideas and appreciate their classmates’ work. After sharing, students did a group observations activity to collaborate on expanding the way they are making observations in the garden. The students worked together in two large groups to make observations about two plants in the garden.

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Here a student makes a list of as many observations as they can about this Rock Rose

This activity really helped all the students make more detailed observations in the garden.

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Zoomed in sketch of the Pride of Madeira

 

 

Natural Journaling Week 2

 

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Following a garden rule of “Getting dirty!” while sketching his plant.

For the second week of our six-week Nature Journaling curriculum in the garden, the students focused on getting to know the plants they chose better by drawing them from different perspectives and beginning work on an observational poem about their plant.

Ms Castro says, “It is amazing to see how much the sixth graders discover in the garden about nature and about themselves each time we get to have our class time with Miss Lindsey. All through the previous week, the students eagerly awaited Friday, our day to have class in the garden.”

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When the students arrived at the garden, we started off the class by leading a chanting meditation, which was a new experience for many of the students. My thirty students “OM-ed” uncertainly at first and then quickly gained confidence. What a neat sound to hear, of eleven year olds focusing on trying something new with an open mind!

After meditating, the students went to their plants and drew them from three different perspectives. It was fun to see students taking this assignment seriously and drawing their plant from close up, far away, and from a new perspective in-between. This time offered students the chance to get to know their plant on their own and focus on learning by observation about their plant.

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Zoom In/Zoom Out activity with three sketches.

The next activity was for students to make more observations through writing by listing ten things that their plant reminds them of, then plugging in these analogies to a poem that we posted in the outdoor classroom circle on the whiteboard. This was great practice for writing using figurative language and sensory details, and the students could touch and smell their plant to add depth to their writing, an opportunity we don’t often have in the traditional classroom setting.

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Poem student created about their plant using figurative language.