We had another great class this week where the focus of the lesson was seeds. Many thanks to our Master Gardeners, Susan and Diane who kept the children engaged throughout our session.
Students observed a variety of seeds with different properties, including: avocado, coconut, watercress, Kentucky coffee tree, dandelions, garbanzo beans, red kidney beans, mung beans and more. We looked for differences in the size and shape, texture and color; talked about natural disperses of seeds via water, air, wind; and took a journey inside a bean seed to observe changes that occur during seed germination. We observed embryos trying to emerge from the bean seeds. The children were fascinated by the seeds – they broke open so many seeds to see signs of germination and blew the seeds to mimic nature’s way of dispersal and growth.
Next we performed a PH test of our soil. We learned that plants require healthy soil to grow. One of parameters of healthy soil is PH or how alkaline or acidic is the soil. Most plants prefer nearly neutral soil with a pH between 6.2 and 7.2. We got a green color on the test indicating that are soil is almost neutral – yay! The children put soil in the PH kits, measured the water using a dropper and agitated the container by shaking them really hard – the shaking was by far the most popular with the children!
Now, it was time for some physical activity! So we got to work with our shovels and rakes. We noticed that our raised beds were topped up with soil, while ground beds could use extra soil. We discussed strategies to use our available resources available efficiently, so we transferred soil from raised beds to the ground beds. While buying more soil was an option, we recognized that we could get by optimizing our existing resources.
We also applied lessons learned in previous sessions. We planned out our beds based on the needs of plants we were planting this session – Italian Squash, Zucchini, cucumbers, hot peppers, bell peppers, and bush beans. Then we dug holes based on our plan and put the plants in. We ended with watering our newly planted seedlings!
Each of our classes our scheduled for 2 hours but run over by 20-30 minutes. The children are so excited that they want to keep gardening.
For pictures from this session and the rest of our class, please visit: https://drive.google.com/folderview?id=0BxO-aSnx75yIZ1gzdy1BbWxyM3M
Looking forward to the next lesson on Mother’s Day, Sunday, 5/14th! Rain is in the forecast, so we will keep a close watch. If Mother Nature does not co-operate on Mother’s Day, we look at rescheduling preferably to another time on Sunday.