During the month of March, the sun began to shine brighter on our school garden. With spring on our minds, we tested our knowledge of edible and medicinal herbs by playing a cooperative board game, developed a garden map, created teacups from clay, examined the native plant Stinging Nettle, and worked together to transport healthy soil throughout the garden.
Farm to Classroom enjoys exploring new ways to share plant knowledge with our students. This month we played Wildcraft! An educational and cooperative board game that examines the medicinal properties of 26 plants, many of which we grow in the garden. We identify the herbs that calm a bee sting or toothache, rid us of a stomachache, stop persistent coughing, and much more!
As a precursor to spending time in the garden, we surveyed our current garden layout via a garden map. This lesson allowed us to conceptualize this year’s garden layout and discuss the beds we could eat from, that have new plantings in them, and ones that are new to the garden. We discussed companion planting and crop rotation. Then, we each designed our “dream garden” based on the plants we love to eat and watch grow.
We used clay and our imaginations to create ceramic teacups for the days we will be drinking sun tea in the garden. Our first tea celebration was during our lesson on Stinging Nettles. We discussed how we identify the plant in the wild, its “off the charts” nutritional profile, and used magnifying glasses to inspect the trichomes on the leaves. A simple combination of nettle leaves and hot water made us a nourishing tea to drink from our teacups.
A big thank you to San Juan Sanitation for donating six yards of healthy soil to our garden! Each class participated in the process of redistributing the soil to the necessary garden beds and clearing out any unwanted woodchips and weeds. Snap peas were transplanted underneath a colorful dome trellis. Sorrel plants were nibbled on, leeks were uprooted, peas were planted, and kohlrabi bulbs were eaten raw. We sure did enjoy our first sunny spring day in the garden.