“Commissioner of Agriculture Adam H. Putnam recognizes 10 exceptional school gardens with the inaugural Florida Farm to School “Golden Shovel” Awards.” Read on – – Golden Shovel Press Release.
We are so proud to receive this award and have many people to thank. Luckily we started this blog as a sort of journal, a place to document progress and thank sponsors along the way. Read back to the beginning and remember all the wonderful businesses that have contributed to the success of our school garden. The Golden Shovel will be on display at the upcoming Garden Party held next week to honor sponsors and garden friends and show off our award-winning garden.
The learning related to garden pests and insect friends is endless. It is hard to watch a sunflower die and turn brown, its natural life-cycle, but when you do you see aphids and every stage of the life-cycle of ladybugs. Every student in garden can tell you about this bug:
Also on a past its prime sunflower you’ll find this fellow:
The leaf-footed bug is big. And more than a little scary looking, and it flies. But it doesn’t have mouth parts that can hurt the students and after they hear this they are more than happy to pick them off the developing sunflower seeds and deliver them to the Bucket of Doom (Cup of Doom was too small!).
Another friend chewing on soft-bodied aphids:
Other bugs in the area – weevils, spittlebugs, squash bugs and grasshoppers. The students also spotted some lacewing eggs and several green lynx spiders. The garden isn’t a place for the bug squeamish. Every day another student calls out ‘What is this?” and off we go learning about the new find and how it is managed. We don’t use sprays or chemicals of any kind for bug control, where is the learning in that? We pick off offenders, and let our garden friend insects do their jobs.
Beans finally and other produce
Garden beans and snap peas sown in January are climbing up and back over the trellises and are producing giant, beautiful (the 2nd grade student’s word) garden beans. We see some carrots getting close too. Everyone is waiting to pull a carrot. The eggplant in Bed 7 is developing lovely purple globes. We’re on the lookout for eggplant loving families as eggplants are perennials in Florida.