Terra and Birke–June 13, 2013

Because of the rain, we met in the library’s community room and met a turtle named Terra that Anna found on Redberry Farm where she works. She planned on releasing her the next day. The kids liked touching her shell and she looked around at everyone.

Next we watched a Ted Talk by Birke Baehr called What’s Wrong with Our Food about our food system and the importance of organic farming.

Then using colored pencils, everyone finished up their plant drawings and portraits of Terra. Aidric said “the turtle is so small and the world is so big.”

Purple Bean Mystery–July 11, 2013

Our summer sessions have begun and we’ve decided to change our meeting time to Wednesdays from 3-4 pm. We welcomed back a fantastic children’s garden volunteer, Jill Mays!

Today felt sticky with overcast skies and 77°. After an initial tour of the garden for anyone here for the first time this year, the kids divided into four groups and tasted and talked about the harvested oregano and chocolate mint. Then each team concentrated on either harvesting green or purple beans, weeding, labeling the sunflowers, taking a closer look at slugs or pulling out old radishes.

Each child received a green bean to eat and they could choose to wait to eat their purple bean to see what color it changes to when cooked!

Quote of the day: “Do we get to come back tomorrow?”

Breathing Dirt and Ready Potatoes–June 20, 2013

Robin (who will soon be in fifth grade) noted a sunny warm day of 68° and Eric said that we “ate stuff” which included some yummy asparagus and lettuce along with two kinds of homemade dressing, generously donated by Anna and Redberry Farm.

Francie spoke about the benefits of working with soil (it can even make you smarter and happier!) according to research by Mathews & Jenks (2013). In the garden Anna asked the kids how people know it is time to dig up potatoes and after some discussion Paige explained that when the plant has done all of its growing the leaves on top will wilt and die and the potatoes underground would be ready.

Next everyone harvested lots of radishes and then dug holes and transplanted tomato and cucumber plants from the greenhouse. Lots of radishes were taken home to eat.

  • eat donated vegetables
  • discuss benefits of soil to human beings
  • discuss how to  know when various plants are ready to harvest
  • look for harmful insects on the plants and weed
  • harvest & take home radishes
  • transplant tomato and cucumber plants

Terra and Birke–June 13, 2013

Because of the rain, we met in the library’s community room and met a turtle named Terra that Anna found on Redberry Farm where she works. She planned on releasing her the next day. The kids liked touching her shell and she looked around at everyone.

Next we watched a Ted Talk by Birke Baehr called What’s Wrong with Our Food about our food system and the importance of organic farming.

Then using colored pencils, everyone finished up their plant drawings and portraits of Terra. Aidric said “the turtle is so small and the world is so big.”

Strawberries and Pests–June 6, 2013

The weather was cloudy and a warm 70° according to second grader, Aidric. After picking and eating lots of strawberries outside of the garden we:

  • thinned more radishes
  • weeded around the carrot, bean and potato plants
  • put potato beetles, scale bugs and egg cases in soapy water

Anna explained that it takes more time to look for and get rid of pests and that’s one reason why organic food costs more. The time involved to remove harmful insects is worth it though because we can eat any of the vegetables without pesticides.

She also described the symbiotic relationship between ants and aphids. When aphids suck (like vampires) nutrients from leaves, they produce a kind of honeydew that ants love to eat off their backs. The ants in turn protect the aphids from predators and parasites.

Sick Plants and Seed Leaves–May 30, 2013

First grader, Eric, noted the weather as a hot and sunny 81°. We began by inspecting the plants in the garden and seeing who could identify what was growing in each section (the labels helped a lot!). Anna pointed out that some of the bean plants looked a little sick with spots on their leaves. She explained that the plants needed to be pulled because just like people who have a virus, they had to be separated from the healthy plants. They couldn’t even go in the compost! Paige threw them down the hill. Anna also informed us that corn is actually a type of grass (it looks just like grass in the beginning) that was domesticated thousands of years ago.

Next, Anna showed everyone the seed trays she brought from her greenhouse and pointed out the seed leaves (cotyledons), which come first, and the true leaves. She asked the kids to choose a plant to closely observe and draw and identify each leaf.

Then came a game of tag, planting the sunflower seedlings and watering.

All Library Programs Suspended through May. Please revisit our website for updates!