Grades 2,3 and 4 have spent 3 weeks learning in the garden this term. They have learnt about worms and looked at their bodies under magnifying glasses. They are experimenting with seeds and how they grow, planted seeds for comparison growths and planted out lots and lots of seedlings.
Winter/spring veggie plantings consist of carrots, broccoli, beetroots, lettuces, onions, cabbages and herbs. The biggest thrill for the grade 2's has been creating a new strawberry patch.
Melbourne Cup Day saw our juniors missing out on week 2, not to worry we will make up for it at the end of term. Prep/1's have taken ownership of the organic fruit orchard and weeded out all the grass to prepare for sunflower seed planting. They were each given a handful of seeds from last years flowers to take home and plant. There are lots and lots of lady birds in the garden at the moment, with everyone getting extremely excited when a little red lady bird lands on them or they get to pick one up.
Our senior kids finished filling all the beds & Vegepod with soil and compost which means its now time to plant! We cant wait to see what they decide to plant in their Pizza garden. This week the girls had a turn at cleaning out the chicken coop and changed the water, raked the floors and topped up the feed. Eggs were taken to the office for sale and the happy chooks got to eat a bunch of freshly weeded scraps from the garden.
The kids were so excited to get back into garden club this term, so much so that we ran over time every class as they didn't want to finish. Exciting sessions saw a giant delivery of compost that was barrowed into the new garden beds and our very special Vegepod. Students harvested lettuces, leeks, red onions and fennel to take home. Beds were weeded to make way for the new compost and get ready for summer plantings with all the old veggie's given to the chooks. The coop was given a good clean out and the kids really enjoyed time in the coop playing with the chickens. Ladybugs were spotted with excitement and snails collected to be fed to the chooks. Seeds were saved from the broccoli for another season of planting and plants were nurtured to get ready for another seed saving collection. A great first week of being back in the garden.
Autumn days bring time for lots of nature play, seed planting, harvesting, cooking and eating.
This week students take on the challenge of growing SUNFLOWERS! Last summer our school garden was full of tall, yellow, heavy seeded flowers & we saved as many heads as we could. Students this week were given a lesson in seed saving and the process. Every little pair of hands got to pick out a few seeds from the giant dried heads and then got to choose a space in the garden they would like to plant them, labelled them so they don't forget and then made watering cans from recycled milk bottles.
Sunflowers have proven to be a great plant to work with as the seeds are big, don't require a lot of love, grow quick and have fantastic big colourful results that no doubt will grow taller than them. Each student is to care for their own plantings over the term & will be given lots of other great gardening tips on how to get the best results.
We cant wait for our school garden to be a mass of brightly coloured yellow giant sunflowers in summertime.
A great start to Garden Club this term & there is lots to be done to keep our garden looking good but also to take advantage of the best seasonal growing season Spring & Summer.
Classes are divided up into groups of 10 and given a group name MUSHROOMS, MANGOES, MINT, CARROTS, BEANS, STRAWBERRIES,
This week the chessboard lawn was aerated and received a good dose of water saving pellets, the frog bog was cleaned out & yes we have a FROG! and lots of little egg nests were found. Students went on Nature Hunts to get up close and personal with their garden and to learn as they foraged for items to stick on their bracelets. Garden beds were weeded, seeds were saved, seeds were planted and worm wee was fed to the garden beds. String lines were created to cut a level hedge out the front of the school. Peas were eaten off the vin, carrots were dug up, which is always fun - sometimes eaten sometimes not.
Green diaries are still on back order and we hoping they will arrive this week so that the kids can keep records of their findings, growings and planting.
This week the little green thumbs got a lesson in permaculture - land care, earth people & people care and a discussion was had about what works in our garden and what doesn't . We talked about movies and books that show how our planet is affected by waste and what happens if we do not care for our natural environment. 'Bee Movie' & 'Uno's Garden by Graham Base' Students are excited to watch and read these suggestions if you can make this happen for them.
It was decided that the potato bed needed to be moved to make the most of the suns energy and with not too much effort the once donated garden bed was moved to a sunnier spot. It was filled with shredded office paper and broken down cardboard boxes to help reduce our wasted but to also provide a good natural base for what will become the new potato bed.
The Asian Hut has a frog habitat garden around the base of it but with all the little feet that stomp on the plants the habitat was not growing as fast and as protected as well as we had hoped. Recycling old tyres into a native garden wall will replace the current design by providing the hut with lots of little nooks and safe places for the frogs that live but also provide a safer place for those little feet. Some tyres we found in the garden and more will be collected from a car tyre factory to complete the wall. The outcome being not only for the frogs but to also to reduce landfill, recycle dirt from built up areas, create a beautiful structure and provide the students with hours of fun digging dirt and planting native plants. They have set up a native plant nursery where they will care for the plants until ready - native grasses were donated from a school neighbour.
"Tuesday is the best day of the week because it's Garden Club Day" Tegan Platt
Gardening Club’s first week of term 3 was spent getting to know the garden with our 5 senses. Juniors touched, smelt and willingly tasted different herbs, listened to the birds, chooks and rustling leaves. They looked at all the different colours and textures in and around the garden & had fun trying to guess the vegetables and label them & were excited to see how much their cauliflower seedlings had grown since last term.
Middle & Senior students registered for National Tree Day and planted the remaining native Westringa, Kangaroo paws and lots of different native grasses. They had lots of fun doing a little bit of weed maintenance first before planting new plants.
All students will receive their Green Thumbs Garden Diary this week or next so parents can follow along with their child's outdoor experiences. We are hoping they will make a good effort to record the things they find important and by this they will show us what they find interesting and we can work on our club as a whole team. Gardening Club is more than just going outside and being amongst nature, it is about joining a team, creating something together, watching things grow together, taking pride and ownership of our school garden whilst learning along the way. We would love for Parents to come along and join in with their child.
Amy & Jade
Bonbeach PS Green Thumbs
Students come into the garden every Friday mid lunchtime to get familiar with our gardens. This week the students gave our scarecrow a much needed new outfit, planted broccoli seeds & bok choi seeds. They learnt about the importance of bees in our garden and planted lots of new flower seeds and seedlings.
Middle School Enviro Team found nothing had been growing in one of the vegi beds and decided it needed to be dug out and turned over with sugar cane mulch & fresh compost from the worm farm and will now wait for it to settle, then they will plant 2 pineapple tops to grow pineapple trees.
A visual diary of the garden at Bonbeach Primary School built by Growing Green Thumbs & many many little hands
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