Students have continued to work out the garden plan, and our priorities for the space. It is clear they want it to be open, enjoyable, and something special for all. We had their garden designs drawn up in CAD (computer-aided design) so that students could see their designs in proportional size representation. In figuring out the total area that we would be growing in, students put their math skills to the test and compared the various designs. The excitement grows!
Today we reviewed how native plants evolve within their own eco-system, and considered what our human tended vegetables will need to grow and thrive. In small groups students proposed maps for the garden space. Stay tuned to see what they decide!
We started by watching a short video “Who grew my soup?” which is the story and adventures of Phineas Quinn and his questions about the vegetable soup his mom serves for lunch. We delved further into where our food comes from, exploring the native origins of vegetables and fruits, and how that contrasts to where we often source them from today. This led to a mini-geography lesson as we looked at atlases of the different continents.
Further, we explored ideas of seasonality, and what is in season during different New England seasons, and learned about the USDA Hardiness Zones. This geographically defined area offers guidelines for which types of plants are capable of growing there. We are in zone 6, which has a minimum temperature of -23 C/ -9F.
Thanks to a grant from the Mass Cultural Council, http://www.massculturalcouncil.org/ SHAS will be building a vegetable garden in the newly cleared space next to the playground and nursery/pre-K building. Our 4/5 grade class will be working closely with Ganei Beantown (www.beantownjewishgardens.org) in the design and development of the landscape, choosing plantings, and produce distribution. Leora Mallach, director of Ganei Beantown, will be regularly teaching our 4/5 class, and guiding them to work with the lower grades.
- Our first session together (12/21) we started getting to know each other and asking questions about this garden project. Some of those questions included:
- Can we grow grapes?
- Will we harvest carrots?
- Will the garden be organic?
- What happens to the food we grow?
- How will we keep the squirrels out?
- Can we make signs?
The 5th grade students also reflected on their experience visiting the farm at the Teva Learning Center in November and harvesting kale there. We then put on our jackets and went outside to look at our garden space. We measured the length and width and came back inside and starting drawing up some initial design ideas.