Garden Club Brings Wall to Life

Week 3 – Planting the Living Wall

living, vertical wall of color

What a fun time I had with the 4th grade gardeners and Mrs. Lawrence this week planting this vertical garden of live color outside the Multipurpose Room on the Sycamore Valley Elementary school campus.

“diapering the plants”

The smiles on the kids faces were priceless as they wrapped up their flowers and herbs into these black felt squares that we laughingly called “black diapers.”

ready to plant in living wall

The felt holds the roots securely together and holds in moisture when the plant is tucked into it’s pouch on the vertical wall.

tucking plants into pouches on the wall

The kids tucked their plants into the 48 felt pouches on the wall. All members of the club will take turns watering the living wall as well as the Earthboxes according to a schedule set up by Mrs. Lawrence, our 4th grade science teacher and my partner on this wonderful project.

School Garden – veggies, flowers, herbs & sign

After all the plants were tucked into their pouches on the wall, the kids reviewed the watering schedule set up by Mrs. Lawrence to know when each member is responsible for watering the Earthbox through the remainder of the school year.

The Living Wall units will also water the Earthboxes from the water that drips out of the bottom row of pouches. This is an excellent lesson of water conservation which Mrs. Lawrence and I will discuss at our next meeting.

Lastly, Mrs. Lawrence and I , with the help of Manuel our ever helpful custodial engineer, hung the Garden Club sign the kids made above the Living Wall .

A big shout out to Plants on Walls (www.plantsonwalls.com) in San Francisco for their generous support with our Living Wall project.

No Garden Club next week.  In two weeks the kids will be touring my organic garden, learning about composting and enjoying a lunch on the lawn among the flowers and trees.

Sycamore Elementary Spring Garden Club

sprinkling water while preparing the Earthbox

On Thursday April 19th, science teacher Kim Lawrence joined me and 24 fourth graders at Sycamore Valley Elementary School to kick off the Spring session of our Garden Club that meets on Thursdays at lunchtime. We have 6 weeks of fun planned to teach these eager little gardeners about where their food comes from, the power food has to make them healthy and strong, and how to care for the earth to grow more nutritious food.

During our time together, we will be growing tomatoes & herbs in Earthboxes, learning about worm composting by feeding scraps from the kids lunches and planting a living wall to adorn our school with live art!

While the kids ate their lunches, I talked to them about the different parts of a plant and each of them shared examples of some of their favorite foods of these parts – root (carrot), stem (celery), leaf (spinach), blossom (cauliflower), fruit (strawberry), seeds (sunflower seeds).

adding soil to the Earthbox

After eating, we assembled the two Earthboxes that the fourth graders will plant tomatoes and herbs in next week. The kids then took turns filling the Earthbox with handfuls of organic soil, dolomite and organic fertilizer. In our last few minutes together, they learned about how the plants will get their water from a reservoir at the bottom of the box rather than from water sprinkled on top of the seeds. More on watering and developing a watering schedule in a couple of weeks!

making garden club sign

The kids finished up by decorating and signing their name to our Garden Club sign that will hang above the Living Wall we will be planting outside the MPR.

creativity displayed on school campus using recycled materials to celebrate Earth Day

To celebrate Earth Day this week, I couldn’t help but post this photo of all the terrific artwork displayed on the school grounds.  It really brought to life how colorful life can be when we teach our children how to honor and care of our Earth.

Next week – planting the pizza garden!