Kids’ Edible Gardens update
It was a very wet Term 2 at Blenheim School – it seemed to rain every gardening day! The children found plenty to do inside the classroom. They investigated how plants talk to them and what it means when the leaves of some plants turn yellow. Their citrus trees had yellow leaves, and the children discovered that the trees were probably suffering from a lack of nitrogen or iron. Between showers, the children gave them a good feed with layers of lawn clippings, blood and bone, compost and mulch. Back inside, they talked about replenishing the soil and resting beds.
Having planned to build another compost heap, it rained yet again. Instead, the children explored the water cycle and potted up some peas to grow pea shoots in the classroom. With magnifying glasses in hand the children brought their compost heap inside, sifting through the compost to find the insects that call the compost heap home. Using an insect guide sheet they were able to identify five different kinds of insects and learn about the job they do decomposing the compost.
The children welcomed back Mrs Agnew (their previous facilitator) to help them prune their fruit trees. They were keen to show Mrs Agnew what they had been doing in the garden before tackling their fruit trees, grape vines, currants and espaliered apple trees. It was a busy, enjoyable day learning exactly why and how to prune.
Near the end of term, the students started preparing their garden beds for spring. They planted green crop mustard and broad bean seeds, dug in compost, and watered their vegetables with some stinky seaweed brew that they made earlier in the year. Cloches were put out over their small seedlings to protect them from frost and insects over the holidays.
To celebrate Matariki, the children enjoyed homemade blackcurrant smoothies and ice cream. Needless to say, it was a real hit!