The Garden Club looked at different types of Winter Squash. They even tasted some and cut open a spaghetti squash.
The kids headed out in the light rain to plant their fall vegetables in the garden. They planted kale, greens, and cabbages. They also checked out the herb garden where there were lots of bees landing on the basil flowers and picked some parsley for the First Grade caterpillars to eat. Parker found a wild caterpillar in the garden to add to their collection. Later they went inside to dry off and draw what they learned today.
Butterflies, bees, and caterpillars!
A special thanks to Richard Hinde, at Hinde Photography in Louisa, who donated the Ryegrass seeds.
The Grizzly Gardeners learned how scientists classify plants. They started by discussing how homes are organized so things can be found. Then they tried organizing some common plants into sections. They came up with the following categories: roots, stems, leaves, flowers, veggies etc. They then realized that some plants such as carrots fall into both roots and vegetables categories. They began to understand why scientists had to come up with other ways to organize plants. Scientists separate plants into basically two areas, monocots and dicots. Regina talked about the difference and then showed the kids plant leaves so they could see what they actually look like. Monocot leaves have only one seed leaf and parallel veins, whereas dicot leaves have two seed leaves and netted veins. The kids did leaf rubbings in the correct categories and drew in seeds also.
Regina talked to the kids about the reasons farmers plant cover crops. Cover crops help improve soil health, prevents erosion, suppresses weeds, and fixes nitrogen in the soil. Then the kids planted ryegrass in the vegetable garden. Ryegrass creates a more porous dirt, so plants roots can reach moisture more easily. It adds nitrogen to the soil, increases the soil organic matter, and keeps the weeds down (not a small undertaking in our garden). We will look at the roots in the spring to see the nitrogen fixing nodules and turn the rye under for fertilizer for our summer plants.
Junior Master Gardener Website
Regina took the kids into the computer lab and showed them the Junior Master Gardener website (www.jmgkids.us) to find games for practicing what they have learned at home. The kids went to the Kids Zone and played some games.