Posted by Mrs Ferguson | Posted in Term 1 2011 | Posted on March 31, 2011
Week 8 was the last official week of gardening for term 1. But that didn’t mean there was any less work to do! Infact – there was even more work than usual!
We spent the week madly preparing our garden beds as best we can for the next season’s crop to be planted – some things will need to go in during week 9 (before the holidays) so we don’t have much time!
As usual there was plenty of harvesting to do – cabbages, the last of the tomatoes, leeks, potatoes, varieties of beans and over 36kgs of pumpkin – which means we have harvested over 100kgs of pumpkin in the last two weeks!
There’s also been a few more eggplants, the occassional cucumber and loads of basil, parsley and oregano sent to the kitchen for pizzas!
There certainly has been a bumper crop this term!
Highlights this week have included:
This week we have also been:
collecting and hanging herbs from our garden in anticipation of making some lovely gifts for Mother’s Day,
collecting dried bean pods from our bean plants to seed-save for planting next year
using our home made compost from our whole school composting program to improve the soil in our garden.
And of course we have done our usual maths activities – collecting and weighing the eggs, reading and recording the rainfall, temperature and wind direction.
Posted by Mrs Ferguson | Posted in Term 1 2011 | Posted on March 27, 2011
This week, it’s been all about….
We harvested over 72kgs of pumpkin this week!
We also harvested 9.8kgs of corn, 6kgs of spring onions, some potatoes, a few leeks and some carrots.
Harvesting has been a big job these last few weeks, with plenty to do! It is definately the students’ favourite job. They also love weighing the produce and recording how much we have harvested – practising those all important math skills. We are also learning to clean up the produce properly, ready to be sent into the kitchen soil-free!
When we are not harvesting, we are working really hard to prepare our garden beds for the new planting season which will start very soon – it’s almost time to put in our winter vegetables. We’ve also planted some radish, spinach and carrot seeds.
Another favourite job in the garden is taking care of the chickens and collecting the eggs. We write the date on each of the eggs, weigh each egg and find out the average weight of the eggs collected for the day. We are graphing the results, seeing if we can track changes in our hens’ laying over time.
Posted by Mrs Ferguson | Posted in Term 1 2011 | Posted on March 9, 2011
Click to see pumpkin recipes from the Berwick Fields kitchen
The kitchen-garden was a slighly more lonely place this week – as it was missing our grade 5/6 students who were away on camp! But exciting things continued to happen – even though we could have really used their help with some of the heavy work!!! And when I say heavy – I mean heavy! We harvested one fantastic Queensland Blue Pumpkin – and it was so heavy that we couldn’t weigh it properly – our scales don’t go high enough!
We also spent some time making some new scarescrows and giving some of our old scarecrows some new outfits!
If you have some old clothes at home that you think would make a great outfit for a scarecrow, we’d love to have them – see Mrs Ferguson in the garden.
We also recieved a delivery of new watertank garden beds this week. We are beginning to further develop our herb garden- located directly outside the kitchen so it’s easy to pop out and grab some herbs!
As we further develop areas in our garden and prepare for the next planting season, it is becoming more and more important that we have a plan of what is happening in the garden. This week we drew a map of the garden and have begun to use it to show what’s being planted and when, the pH of the soil in the garden beds and when it was tested and what we plan to use areas for in the future. It’s also a great way for our students to practise their mapping skills.
Posted by Mrs Ferguson | Posted in Term 1 2011 | Posted on March 1, 2011
Once again there has been lots of harvesting from the garden this week!
Our harvest included chillis, broccoli, red cabbage, cabbage, rhubarb, purple beans, eggplant, leek, tomato, salad onions and cucumbers and carrots.
We always try to weigh our produce as we harvest it – helping us to learn about mass and measurement. Some of the groups working with Melissa were looking closely at grams as a unit of measurement – how many grams in a kilogram, how to convert kilograms to grams and back again, how to add kilograms and grams etc.
We also found some really long yellow beans!
At the moment, if we were to purchase chillis or leeks at our closest supermarket, the leeks would cost $2.49 EACH, the small red chillis would cost $19.98 per kilogram and the large green chillis would cost $14.98 per kilogram! …And our leeks and chillis are much more beautiful than the ones at the supermarket!
Other groups followed up on our pH experiments and did some soil testing on our garden beds. It seems that most of our garden beds are around pH 7, which is neutral – and quite good news! We also tested our compost and areas of the garden that we built with the existing soil – these were close to neutral too! Great!
It looks like we also have lots of pumpkins and butternut pumpkins coming up for harvest soon- mmmm pumpkin…. yum!!
Posted by Mrs Ferguson | Posted in Term 1 2011 | Posted on February 25, 2011
Week 3 has been busy out in the garden. The students broke off into groups that they will work in for the duration of semester one and completed one of a variety of activities.
Click to see tomato recipes from the kitchen.
Click to see beetroot recipes from the kitchen.
There was loads of harvesting to be done, with almost 8kgs of tomatoes and a basket of beetroot being delivered to the kitchen. Students also harvested plenty of eggplants, cucumbers, strawberries, spring onion, leeks, fennel and salad onions!
Some of the students were also involved in some garden science as we learned about pH. Using red cabbage as a pH indicator, we tested some different household substances to find out if they are an acid or a base and practise reading the pH chart. This activity is really easy to do and it is great fun watching the pH indicator solution changing to the different bright colours! It was a great introduction for next week when we will be testing the pH of our soil. This activity is easy to do at home and is really fun!
Another group of students used some of the old bricks that were left over from the building of the kitchen to create a new garden bed. There was some confusion about whether we were building a garden bed, or a castle – but we think it’s a great way to recycle our old bricks! We talked a lot about the pattern that we see in brickwork all around us, such as on our school building, and how this pattern will help to make the walls of our garden bed stronger.
Melissa also worked with a group of students to build a climbing structure for a pumpkin vine. There was plenty of opportunity to practise our maths skills and loads of teamwork needed!
Brenton had a team of hardworkers giving the hothouse a good clean up, ready for the rest of the year. He’ll be working with students to grow lettuces, sweetpeas and raise seedlings to plant out in the garden.
Mulching is not glamorous, but it is an important and regular job in the garden. It helps to keep the moisture in the soil (keeping the plants and the worms happy) and the weeds away. Donna’s group knew there was plenty of mulching to be done this week whilst we still try to catch up on these jobs since the summer holidays!
Sylvia worked with groups of students to save the seeds from our largest, toughest radish in last year’s crop. We will plant the seeds this year – infact, we will be planting some of them next week!
Melissa got a group started on some new worm farms that will be housed in old bathtubs!
And also worked with another group to extend our Yellow Brick Road which shows students the way to the compost bins. It is important that the whole school know how to compost properly if we are to be able to use it in our garden.
Posted by Mrs Ferguson | Posted in Term 1 2011 | Posted on February 15, 2011
It’s the end of week two – and our work in the kitchen-garden is well underway!
In week one, students began to complete their garden license exam. The students manouvered a wheelbarrow safely around a set course and completed tasks to demonstrate that they know how to carry, use and store the tools safely. Donna and Melissa were our examiners – watching each student carefully to see that they are capable of working in the garden safely and respectfully. CONGRATULATIONS to all our students who have successful gained their license! Students also completed a pre-test in week one, to find out what they already know about some of the many things we will be learning about out in the garden this year. At the end of the semester, we will complete the test again and see what we’ve learned!
In week two, students organised their garden journals and began to record the weather – including the temperature, wind direction and the weekly rainfall. Students will be using the rain gauge, weather vein and thermometre each week for the semester to see if we can identify weather patterns and to practise our math skills. We also toured the kitchen-garden to see what’s new, what’s old, what’s happening with the compost, and where the tools are stored.