School garden needs some attention

While I was away this summer, my friend Priti tried to take care of the garden.  But somedays the gates were double locked and she couldn’t get in, or the water was turned off on campus while plumbing work was being done.  She really tried and I am thankful to her.

It has been a problem for all the years I have been managing the garden.  I tried to install an automatic watering system, but not being electrically-minded, I have been left to rely on others to help out.

Needless to say, the garden is desperate need of my attention.  The summer plants have all died off, the herbs have gone to seed, and weeds have taken over yet again.  There is one bed of mint (yerba buena) that has taken over the aisles and nearby bed.

I plan on organizing a clean up day during California School Garden Week (October 25-31), hoping to get sponsored by Home Depot or the likes, to get some free supplies.  Funds are always in short supply, so most of what I need I have to buy myself, or get donated.  I dream of making a zen garden in the back portion of the garden, under the big, seed-dropping tree.  For this I would love to get sponsored.

This week I spent most of my free time clearing beds and gathering seeds to save and share.  The marigolds are going to seed, which I plan to plant with the Pre-K class for Dia de los Muertos (Day of the Dead).  Our school population is predominantly Hispanic, so most of the classes put on activities to celebrate the holiday.  The marigold is the flower used for the altars.

I have also started to plant carrots, radishes, turnips, and greens.  I want to do a project with some of the classes where we soak a pea seed in moist napkins for a day, see what happens, and then plant them in the ground.  Surprisingly, peas can be grown here in the winter, according to my gardening sources.   We’ll see.

The next few weeks I will be in there as much as I can, clearing and replanting.  I love to see all the beds in full bloom and the look on the children’s faces when they help in growing their own food.


Categories: school garden


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