Progress Report for Spring!

The kids are almost fully planted now with an array of cucumbers, tomatoes, squash, black beans, potatoes, radish and soon to be herb garden.  Still remaining in the previous garden are sweet onions and carrots. Brussels sprouts too, although we haven’t seen the first sign of a “sprout.”  Oh well, yet another garden mystery for us to solve by mixing up a concoction of N-P-K! 

As you see, our garden is covered in hay.  This serves two purposes: 

Number one, it makes for pretty lined walkways and number two?  It makes great mulch. We do love a multi-tasker!

To the left, we are rebuilding our bean fort, but this time, no heavy roof material.  As the polebeans climb, we’ll stretch twine overhead for them to wind around. 

The middle schoolers worked hard on this project and lower elementary followed their lead by planting beans all around the base.

They worked in two shifts and the more the merrier! Remember, we’re using the harvest as sales product for our first garden fundraiser come May.  Yipee!

As we planted our sunflowers this week, we paused to contemplate how truly wonderful these plants are.  They attract aphids away from the more tender plants in our garden and the aphids attract ants.  Big and sturdy, these flowers can handle the traffic the other plants cannot!  But better yet, sunflowers are also said to improve the growth of corn.  Now that’s what I call helpful companions in the garden  🙂

And for those of you worried about the recent cold snaps in our area, everything survived with nary a bruise.  What didn’t survive so well?  Our radish—but that had nothing to do with the temperature.  We can chalk that up to overeager weeders and hay throwers! 

Well…these bodies DO get busy when they’re in the garden.  A good thing!  And since we’re self-sustaining, we can always plant more seeds (not to mention brush up on our plant identification skills).  Se pasa!

Cucumbers and Beans are IN

This week the kids planted their cucumbers and black beans—black beans harvested from their fall crop!  Can you say self-sustaining?  These gardeners are definitely on their way to food independence. 🙂

We chose the fence line for our cucumbers for two reasons:  they like to climb and they adore sunflowers.  (Refer to our layout plan for details:  School garden layout) Perfect!

Our beans are neighbors with potatoes and corn—both very good friends.  And next season?  Corn will follow beans, because beans fix nitrogen in the soil and corn loves nitrogen!

Next week we will be working on constructing our new bean fort, as well as planting our sunflowers and tomato seeds.  And remember:  tomato seeds love a mix of Epsom salts and eggshells!