An Update from Science in Nature
Our school garden is one of our most useful tools in educating our students about sustainable agricultural practices and becoming responsible caretakers of the land. It gives our children the opportunity to make a connection with nature at an early age and to understand the science behind how their food is produced. It also enables them to interact with their peers, their teachers, parents and volunteers as our garden is tended by many members of our community.
This year, the third grade began their own farming journey in the fall harvesting pumpkins planted in the spring and planting winter wheat in the school garden. The winter wheat quickly germinated and grew into young plants. They remained stagnant through the winter and began to grow again in early spring. Since the students returned from April break, the wheat has taken off, growing from small shoots of green grass to tall strong stems shoulder high!
As soon as the wheat starts to turn from green to brown, sometime in late summer, it will be time to harvest. The processing of the wheat into flour will be done here at school with no special equipment needed. The students will cut the stalks down, tie them into bunches and let them dry for about two weeks when it will be time to thresh the wheat.
Threshing the wheat is a perfect activity for developing hands and coordination, which is why Kindergarten and Nursery will practice their dexterity and hand-and-eye coordination as they remove the grain from the stalks by beating them with a stick (which I’m sure will be very popular!) The harvested flour will then be used by Nursery, Kindergarten and next year’s third grade in their bread baking activities.
Now that our winter wheat is established in our garden, all our classes will continue to benefit, learning about the cycles of growth, dormancy, bloom and harvest.
Join us in tending the garden, this Friday from 3 to 4:30 All are welcome!
By Coleen Ryan, Science in Nature Coordinator