Nurturing the Eagle Nest

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

Growing, growing….

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Did you visit the garden on Math & Science Night?  Many families came to see what was growing and were very pleasantly surprised by our industry.  We continue to harvest cherry tomatoes, radish and garden bean.  A lucky 2nd grader harvested our first turnip last week.  There are many adorable cabbages but we keep waiting for the carrots.  There are hundreds of carrot seeds in the beds and very little to show for it.  We’re not sure what the disconnect is there but we’ll keep watching, waiting.  We’ve let several radishes go to seed, sprouting leggy blossom-filled stems loaded with seed pods.  Students will get to see how we save seeds for the next year’s harvest.  We’ve already saved several dozen calendula seeds.  The basil bounced back, the eggplant is close to blooming, the dinosaur kale is getting very large and the sunflowers are bursting with color – bright yellow and a dark purple variety called ‘Evening Sun’.

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Morning Garden Club and interested visitors

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Student seeking a flat worm with The Cup of Doom

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Calendula, leggy radish and cabbages

Garden supporter, Dan Beesley, has made 2 more benches for the garden area from recycled materials.  Pictures coming soon!  Thanks Mr. Beesley!

Pests & Friends

We are now a true garden in the respect that insects, friend and foe, have found us!  The Garden Club and visiting students have become experts at removing flat worms, tomato hornworms, aphids, tomato fruitworms and cabbage loopers on the gourd vine.  The students know to look for frass, ask your Soaring Eagle what this means, then find and remove the offender to a cup of soapy water, dubbed The Cup of Doom.  We found a black swallowtail caterpillar on the parsley in bed 8. Finally, the reason we planted dill in the butterfly garden was to remove these cats and put in the butterfly garden.  Black swallowtail butterflies like dill, fennel and parsley.  Students would like to put a few tomatoes in the garden next year to move the hornworm and fruitworm cats to these plants.  Hawk moths and sphinx moths, adult versions of our tomato destroyers, are actually better at pollinating than black swallowtails, albeit for night-blooming plants.  We chat about why we save butterfly caterpillars and not moth caterpillars, why we destroy flat worms, even though they eat earthworms, they also destroy nuisance pest larvae and also the cabbage loopers.

So we’ve been introduced to garden pests but we’ve also met some garden friends.  Bees and juvenile ladybugs are to be found all the time.  We keep hoping a parasitic wasp will find our nuisance caterpillars but none have been spotted yet.

Yes, still glass mulch…

The river is still in need of glass mulch.  If you’d like to donate funds to help us please comment and let us know or send us an email – fsesgardenteam@gmail.com

It’s difficult to think anything but pleasant thoughts while eating a homegrown tomato.
–  Lewis Grizzard

 

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