Nurturing the Eagle Nest

Working together to beautify the school habitat for our soaring eagles!

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Mulch Arrives!

Greg from our new Garden Grower! Zimmerman Tree Service delivered fresh FREE pine mulch Tuesday morning.  Thank you Zimmerman Tree Service!  Zimmerman Tree Service is a local company and they really believe in supporting the community.  Over the next weeks we’ll be moving mulch into the garden to make nice thick weed-free paths (nobody will miss seeing the cardboard).  Stop by and move a few wheelbarrows full for us anytime!

DSC04317DSC04321Planting Begins! 

2nd grade students began planting their STEM class beds this week.  Most of the STEM classes this week were greeted with this sign on the door:



The 2nd graders planted the seed tapes that they made in STEM class over the previous weeks.  At their next STEM class they’ll select their flower or herb seeds to plant in individual cells.  The students seemed excited about taking charge of their garden bed and making it successful.  While planting their seed tapes, the STEM teacher discussed irrigation, components of soil, ‘good’ and ‘bad’ bugs, pollinators, garden etiquette and the basics of successful planting.  The students were fully engaged in the lesson and each were able to tell the STEM teacher ‘What I learned today was….”.

A few 4th graders stopped by the garden on the way to the library and helped plant a marigold and rosemary in Bed 1.  Thanks ladies!

DSC04284If you are interested in moving some mulch we’d love to arrange that for you!  We’re happy to have helpers.  Thanks again to our newest Garden Grower! Zimmerman Tree Service.

“I hope you’re proud of yourself for the times you’ve said ‘yes,’ when all it meant was extra work for you and was seemingly helpful only to somebody else.” – Fred McFeely (Mr.) Rogers


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A busy week…

Between our fabulous Soil Saturday and today much has happened.  Last Monday our Garden Grower friend, Farmer David  Bick, and other Sons & Daughters Farm personnel installed a microjet irrigation system for our garden – FOR FREE!  Um.  Wow!  Thank you Farmer David and your crew for this wonderful donation.


Two days ago almost all of the 2nd grade was on hand for a small ceremony, the official opening of our garden!  Principal Trejo read A Seed is Sleepy by Dianna Hutts Aston and illustrated by Sylvia Long, cut the ribbon and planted the first plant (a little marigold!).  Over the next 7 school days the 2nd grade STEM classes will be planting their seed tapes, individual seeds and a few of the seedlings started at Gray Mockingbird Community Garden.



We made it to planting.  It has been 40 days since the first meeting about the garden.  What an accomplishment!  Thank you to everyone who has helped, made phone calls, donated money, shoveled soil, placed irrigation, wrestled cardboard – we couldn’t have done it without YOU!  Keep checking back for planting photos, special news about mulch and the garden’s progress.

Coming together is a beginning; keeping together is progress; working together is success. – Henry Ford



Soil Saturday a Triumph!

Over 30 teachers, parents and students were on hand last Saturday to move 20 cubic yards of soil into the garden beds.  It was a beautiful morning and everyone was anxious to dig in and get it done.  The job was finished in just over 3 hours.

A very special to Matt Haynes who arranged for his firm Lytal, Reiter, Smith, Ivey & Fronrath to provide a pizza lunch for the volunteers.  Thank you Matt and company!



Here is the pile of soil early on.


Working hard!


We’re whittling it down!


A wonderfully rewarding day – a strong sense of community and common purpose – these moments are rare.  Thank you everyone for helping our FSES students SOAR!  We still have mulch to spread, trees to move, non-native plants to rip out and native plants to place.  When we have dates and times on the future work days, we’ll let you know.  Keep checking the blog regularly.  The irrigation is next for installation and we have high hopes to put seeds in the beds on Thursday.

Everyone here has the sense that right now is one of those moments when we are influencing the future.

– Steve Jobs

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The Soil Arrives!

We are so close to putting seeds and plants in our garden beds.  The soil blend we ordered from Amerigrow arrived this afternoon.  Ron from Amerigrow drove up a huge grapple truck and dumped our organic blend soil.  The soil has Florida peat, pine bark and Amerigrow’s Eco-Soil mixed together to make a light yet moist soil perfect for our garden.


Ron and Mrs. Beesley, our STEM teacher and garden coordinator, with the grapple truck.


We need help getting all of this great soil into our garden beds.  Please come at 10 a.m. tomorrow with a shovel, a wheelbarrow, kids wagon with buckets or garden cart and help out!  Please wear sunscreen, hats and sturdy shoes.  Flip flops and sandals are not recommended.  We will have water and lunch for volunteers.

Seed Tape

During STEM class today a group of 2nd graders made seed tape that will be placed in the gardens starting next week!  Carrots, radish and lettuce are pre-spaced and secured with a flour/water mixture on the toilet paper to eliminate thinning and reduce waste.  The science lesson also focused on converting inches to centimeters.  The kids had a great time!  Check out the video:  Seed Tape


“If I wanted to have a happy garden, I must ally myself with my soil; study and help it to the utmost, untiringly. Always, the soil must come first.”
–  Marion Cran, If I Where Beginning Again



Our organic blend soil from Amerigrow arrives this Friday.  Thank you Amerigrow for giving us a discount!

We’ll be on hand to fill the garden beds on Saturday (10/18 at 10 a.m.)  If you would like to meet other garden volunteers and spend a little sweat equity, please join us!  We could use shovels, hand trowels (for filling the concrete cells), wheelbarrows and buckets.  Bring sunscreen, hats, and friends and family.  We’ll have plenty of water and we’re planning a light lunch.  If you can join us Saturday, please let us know so that we have enough lunch for everyone.  FSES Garden Team Email or comment.

Latest Look

Here is the latest picture of the garden space.  100% of the garden area is covered in a thick layer of cardboard and the space is outlined in blocks. Quite a transformation!

DSC04098          DSC04197

We’re looking for free mulch, do you have any connections?  Maybe a tree trimming company would like their name on this blog and would drop a load of their days’ work for us to use? Let us know!

A dream doesn’t become reality through magic; it takes sweat, determination and hard work. – Colin Powell

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Planning Beds and Our Community

‘We know our doctor.  We know our dentist.  Why don’t we know our farmer?”  – Cornucopia Institute

The good news is that we now KNOW our farmer.  Farmer David Bick to be more precise.  Farmer Bick is an FSES parent who has graciously agreed to help guide us through our garden building process with his wealth of gardening knowledge AND donate time and materials to install the irrigation for the garden.  WOW!  His organic farm is located in Lake Worth and he grows food and creates kombucha for local restaurants.  Sons & Daughters Farm and Farmer Bick are wonderful additions to our growing garden community.  Thank you!

Garden Update

The sheet mulching we started September 23rd is definitely working.  We pulled up a few pieces of cardboard to check the status of the grass decomposition.  The thick, weedy grass is now almost gone and we can see the dirt.  We have just a bit more sheet mulching to do as we have one more planting bed to place.


We have 7 double-layer concrete block beds and 1 triple-layer bed.  Most of the blocks have been placed by the school’s STEM teacher who will be overseeing the garden curriculum with all FSES students.  At 28 pounds per block, she has moved over 4,500 pounds of concrete into place!  Talk about above and beyond!  Here is a photo taken October 8th.  There will be one more bed placed in front of the bed on the far left in the photo.


Did you know we’ll be including elements to make the garden even more peaceful?  We have plans to include a rock path and seating so that not only will the garden be an outdoor classroom but a place to sit and contemplate, relax and reflect.

Soil will be in the beds really soon.  If you would like to help haul and fill the planting beds please comment or email and let us know!  We’ll also post as soon as we can about the date/time to FILL THOSE BEDS!  Also let us know if you’d like to join the Garden Team.  Some Garden Team members are seriously considering the garden plan in the photo below.  Well, maybe not too seriously.


Don’t judge each day by the harvest you reap but by the seeds that you plant. – Robert Louis Stevenson

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Blocks Arrive & Math Night

13,800 pounds of concrete blocks are now on site at Freedom Shores.  A couple of students were on hand to accept the delivery and pose for a snap with Malcolm, the friendly CEMEX delivery person.  Thanks Malcolm!


Fun with Math Night was a solid hit!  Many students and parents visited the Garden table and submitted names for the garden and signed up to help!  Thank you!  Here are a few garden name ideas:  ‘The Lovely Cardboard Garden’ (very appropriate), ‘Box Trolls Garden’ (fitting), ‘Sunshine’, ‘Gareby’, ‘Soaring Sproutlets’, ‘Sponge Bob’, ‘Butterfly Isle’, ‘The Freedom Garden’ (this is popular), ‘Field of Plenty’ (hopeful!), ‘Sunshine Foundation’ and more!  Check the blog regularly for notice about when the final name will be chosen.


We received an update from Gray Mockingbird Community Garden about our seedlings.  Andrea tells us that the seeds are just beginning to sprout and are doing well.

Back soon with news about soil, mulch and new partners!

“One of the most delightful things about a garden is the anticipation it brings.”
― W. E. Johns