- Frederick Douglass
FDE Garden Lab
- Pop's Gardening Corner
- In the News
- Garden Lab Maps
- Construction Plans for Garden Lab Structures
- Professional Development Workshops for the Garden Lab
- LCPS School Garden Tool Kit
- Volunteer Opportunities
- Thank you
- Kindergarten Seed Sale Ads
- STEP Garden to Harvest One to the World Project
- What is happening with our seeds?
- PTA Garden Lab Committee
Fall in the Garden Lab
Click on the link below to get a sample of virtual instruction in the garden lab:
The school year started with distance learning in place. Students were home learning and being connected with their teachers and classes with the use of technology. The garden lab is the heart of our school and we missed being in it on a regular basis, but it has not stopped our staff from coming up with creative ways to bring our students and families to this special space. Pop and Mrs. Cunningham presented a professional development to staff on ways to use the garden for both instruction and a place for our mental and emotional well being as it is such a peaceful, inspiring place. Virtual instruction is taking place in the garden with a wide range of experiences, such as harvesting gourds with the teacher discussing the life cycle of the gourd, reading a good book together, finding math components hidden within the garden, creating a plant germination experiment at home together as a crop is planted in the garden lab and more.
We were pleased when we were able to use grant funds to care for the pergola by sanding, staining and sealing it as it is such an important shade structure for over the main lab table. Thank you, Pop, for being our on site manager for this project.
Harvest time occured with big crops of figs, carrots, raspberries, gourds, flowers, lavender, garlic, and more. Fall has rolled in with the garden lab continuing to grow and change.
Many students created gardens at home during the summer. Here is one of our Frederick Douglass stars sharing their cucumber harvest with us:
The sprouts from the September and October plantings are growing well! Ami Mason, our PTA garden lab chairperson, spent a great deal of time supporting our programs and teachers. Here is Ami’s update with just some of what she and the committee were able to do over the last few months:
> In the raised bed on the left where the pumpkins were growing we have carrots, lettuce, and some radishes growing. These were planted by kindergarteners and the EL class. In the middle bed next to that one, the fifth graders planted turnips, radishes, beets, rutabaga, and carrots. The next bed over (where the tomatoes were), the third graders planted lettuces. These are now all under frost covers and are growing wonderfully.
> On the right side of the garden, first graders in Mrs. Morell's class planted more carrots and radishes in the raised bed outside their classroom (the bed with the peas trellised). The bed to the right of the milkweed bed was seeded again with swiss chard by Mrs. Joback's class but they did not germinate very well. I threw some cabbage seeds in there two weeks ago to see if they would take and they are growing pretty well! I wanted their class to be able to watch *something* grow.
> In the cold frame the Futura classes planted tennis ball lettuce, arugula, red romaine, and tatsoi greens. These are sprouting now and we will keep the doors shut on them for the remainder of the cold season.
> In the cotton bed we will wait to see if the last cotton pods open and they will be harvested for their seeds by the kindergartners. Once it is all harvested we will pull that bed clear and prepare the soil for the spring. This is where we will have some cold weather crops like broccoli and Brussels sprouts in the early spring.
> As for the Three Sisters Garden, the we will clear the bed, not putting any squash leaves or vines in the compost and saving any beans. All else will go in the compost. Once that is clear, some time in the winter I will cover that bed in Krimson Clover, a cover crop, and then before it flowers we will turn it over into the soil to help provide more nitrogen to the soil.
> The kindergartners used some of the Swiss chard and the kale to make chips last week and there is still plenty left to make with other classes. There is kale and chard left, so if you are interested contact Ami Mason, our PTA garden lab chairperson.
> *Compost Update: there are three tumblers now. The one on the very left is "done" for the season. I would like to not add anything more to that so that we can truly see how decomposed everything gets by the end of spring. If we keep adding things to it, it will push back the finish date. This is sort of experimental, to see how much or how fast a compost bin can decompose the contents. Any time you need to add to the compost just use the two on the right. Remember; only weeds, coffee grounds, leaves, and leaf/stem material from plants that are NOT tomato or squash related go into them. PTA garden lab committee will be adding water, as well because the microorganisms need water to keep getting through the matter. I bring in a plastic container (like people store cereal in) full of my coffee grounds and I add water to it to help pour the contents out and that's enough water to help the bin.
> Over the winter I would love to see parents working with their classes on bird feeders or other crafts for the garden. Let me know if you have any ideas for students to participate in the winter garden!
Our garden hosted several groups this month: The Peterson Young Naturalist Journal Professional Development training and Hamilton Elementary School Second Graders came as a field trip with our K students acting as experts to give their students information about the garden lab.
Please be sure to thank Ami and the parents who are supporting the garden lab. The garden lab is constantly changing by the seasons. The frost covers are up and remind students of “tents” for our plants. The shade cloth has been removed from the pergola and stored for the Winter to protect it from snow damage. The remaining seeds will be harvested from the garden and given to Kindergarten to prepare for their seed sale in the Spring. In the near future, the fig tree will be insulated with a blanket of straw to protect it from the harsh freezing conditions to come this winter. There are still many adventures to happen before winter arrives.
Young naturalist can be seen through out the day in the garden lab completing nature journal entries.