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Planting Bulbs

Planting Bulbs

Thanks to a generous grant from our PTA, APP@Lincoln is hiring a part-time (approximately 4-5 hours a week) garden educator to work primarily with our third grade classes. Please read and share the job announcement and job description!

Job Announcement: Part-time Garden Educator (1 day onsite/4-5 hours per week, 18 weeks from February-June)

APP@Lincoln Elementary School seeks a part-time garden educator to work primarily with our third grade classes as we establish a school garden program. The garden educator will also help us raise the visibility of the garden in the school and local community. He or she will additionally facilitate a partnership between our school and the nearby FamilyWorks Food Bank, to whom we hope to donate a share of our produce. This position will be offered a stipend of $2700. Garden supplies will be funded separately. Please see attached job description for more information.

Please email resume and cover letter to Kimberly Christensen at KimberlyChristensen@live.com by January 9th. Position open until filled.

School Garden Educator Job Description

Thank you so much for helping to tend to the SNAPPdragons garden! I think we have a full complement of volunteers signed up on our ‘master’ list online: http://www.signupgenius.com/go/30e0f45a5ad238-school1.

Firstly, the gate to the South Entrance has a blue combination lock on it. The gate will be OPEN during school hours 7am-3pm, but if you come in the evening and it is closed, you can open it with the combination: Blue Lock: 34-08-30 When you lock up, make sure you do it properly: Lock our Blue Lock to ONE end of the chain and only to the OTHER lock. The other lock will be locked to the other end of the chain, so that the two locks together are links in the chain. If you forget, and someone needs to get in, they will CUT the lock.

Please water the native garden first, ideally for a full hour once a week. There are free-standing sprinklers in the deck box around the corner, along with several watering cans. You can leave the sprinkler-head on the end of the hose if that is more convenient. I’m mostly concerned about the small trees on the mound; the strawberries are doing a great job as a ground cover. Feel free to weed, if you have time. Any strawberries can be eaten!

The combination to the deck box, with the Red Lock is 38-16-30.

The key to the hose bib is an inset square-headed 1/4″ Heater Key that we have placed in the hose-reel box. I have delivered one to Family Works, and I have another for Jordan if he needs it. Keep the one you have, and if you lose it, you can get replacements from Stoneway Hardware for about $3. There should also be one in the worm bin, but as Kimberly so unfortunately discovered, there are bumblebees currently nesting under the worm bin, so please avoid that until they are moved. [update:6/18/14] Bees have been relocated!

Please water all plants in the raised beds near the blue rock. Everything should get a good soaking twice (that is, water everything, then go through once more after everything has had a chance to soak in.) If you bring kids with you, hand a watering can to each kid and have them fill the cans from the rain barrels. You can fill the rain barrels from the hose. Send the kids across the driveway to the strawberry mound on the East wall, too. But that won’t need as much water.

Harvest and donate to the Family Works Food Bank anything when it is ready, except for the obvious – the potato tower is harvested in late September with the kids, and the 3-Sisters Garden, which contains corn, beans and squash. One of the raised beds has snapdragons, so if they bloom, take a photo, then it’s OK to pick. I dropped off a bag of seeds to Family Works that we had left over from this fall that Pam can use to plant new crops. We’re delighted that anything can be put to use.

Finally, feel free to call or email if you have any further questions or problems. My email is methylgrace at yahoo.com and my cell is 206-388-6955, and Kimberly can be reached at KimberlyChristensen at live.com or 206-852-8030. Keith, our custodian, can also be reached at 206-793-8757 if there is an urgent problem with vandalism or problems shutting off the water.

Best wishes for a happy summer gardening!

 

Bulb Museum!

We were delighted when the Hardy Plant Society of Washington donated over 500 bulbs to our school garden. We even got a display box of many different kinds of bulbs. Rather than try to plant single bulbs around the garden, we made a Bulb Museum from some scrap wood.

I found this funny box frame:

scrap wood box

scrap wood box

And added some more scraps to complete the box:

completed box

completed box

We filled it with dirt and placed the bulbs:

Placing the bulbs

Placing the bulbs

And now they’re up! Crazy tulip, you’re supposed to wait until after the daffodils!

They're Up!

They’re Up!

Here’s the list:

Row 1 (Closest to the big rock)

Narcissus ‘Surfside’ (6)
N. ‘Quail’
N. ‘February Gold’ (4)
N. ‘Green Eyed Lady’ (2)
N. ‘Stint’
N. ‘Professor Einstein’
N. ‘Sweetness’
N. ‘Snipe’
N. ‘Ice Follies’ (3)
N. ‘Dutch Master’
N. ‘Angel’

Row 2 (Middle)

Tulipa ‘Holland Chic’
T. Zurel
T. clusiana ‘Cynthia'(4)
T. kaufmaniana ‘The First’
T. ‘Elegant Lady’
Eremurus
T. ‘Artist’
T. ‘China Town’
T. linifolia
T. humilis ‘Persian Pear’
T. ‘Heart’s Delight’
Allium ‘Avalanche’

Row 3 (path)

Nectarscordium siculum subsp. bulgaricum (2)
Allium christophii
Leucojum ‘Gravetye Giant’
Allium ‘Purple Sensation’
Crocus ‘Pickwick’ (2)
Muscari armeniacum ‘Saffier’ (2)
Fritillaria meleagris
Crocus ‘Vanguard’
Corydalis solida (2)
Galanthus nivalis (2)
Calochortus superbus
Colchicum ‘The Giant’
Allium ‘Molly Jeanne’
Allium schubertii
N. ‘Yael’
N. ‘Ambergate’

Bulb Planting

It’s hard to have an outside garden lesson in November, but we lucked out with brisk sunshine for bulb-planting day.  A lot of prep-work went into this lesson, including several days of dirt-delivery, and shrub pruning, but the site was finally ready.  We were lucky to obtain a donation of over 500 Narcissus and Tulip bulbs from the Hardy Plant Society of Washington, and used some of the unique ones for a display during the lesson.  These will go into our first “Bulb Museum” so the kids can see the differences all together.

Bulb Display Box

Bulb Display Box

We started the lesson with a potato from last month’s lesson, and described that the plant stored its energy in a tuber.  We then held up an onion and compared the bulb to the tuber.  We sliced them open so the kids could see the rings when cut horizontally, and the newly growing stem when we cut it vertically.   It was delightful when Ms. Burke’s class jumped up and used body language to model Horizontal and Vertical!

Horizontal

Horizontal

Vertical

Vertical

We then compared it to a Tuberous Root (using the strange, spidery Eremurus root).  Some kids drew what they saw:

Eremurus x Isabellinus Ruiter Hybrid

Eremurus x Isabellinus Ruiter Hybrid

 

drawings

Other kids made some stamp-art with the cut onions:

Onion stamping!

Onion stamping!

And the last group planted the bulbs.  Then everyone switched so each kid got an opportunity to do everything.

PrepWork_IMG_12648

Marking out the bulb placement

Planting Bulbs

Planting Bulbs

Getting Crowded

Getting Crowded

We were even helped out by some 5th graders who constructed and painted some “No Feet” signs to remind everyone not to stomp on the sleeping flowers.

Construction Helpers

Construction Helpers

I can’t wait to see what all of the different bulbs will look like next spring.  Here’s what Tulipa ‘Zurel’ will look like!

Tulipa 'Zurel'

Tulipa ‘Zurel’

October Open House

It started out as a cold and foggy morning, but by lunch time, the sun was warm and pleasant.  At our fall Open House today, we were so pleased to have 8 classes show up.  Each class painted a classroom sign for their garden bed, planted fall vegetable crops and two kinds of cover crops (fava beans and red clover), and started our Field Guide project.

working

There was a lot of competition to find the most number of unique mushroom varieties!

Mushroom sighting!

Mushroom sighting!

We found a lot of critters, including spider webs, huge earthworms, and slimy slugs:

Critter Collage

And, remember these?

Potato Life Cycle

Potato Life Cycle

Last spring, the 3rd graders planted several kinds of potatoes including our local Makah Ozettes. Last month at our September Open House, we harvested a big pot full of potatoes. I picked some leeks from my garden and made potato-leek soup:

Potato Varieties

Potato Varieties

The soup was a big hit with all the kids, who begged for seconds. We heard a lot of “Wow, this is yummy!” Some of them even requested the recipe for this delicious dairy-free soup. So, if you want to make this at home:

Potato Leek Soup

  1. Dig up, wash (scrub) all of your potatoes, and trim off any green parts or tough ‘eyes’.  If using Makah Ozette potatoes, don’t bother to peel them.  Cut them into 1″ pieces or chunks.
  2. Pull 4 leeks from your garden, trim the roots, discard most of the green tops. Slice in half lengthwise, and wash the leeks well.  Cut into thin rounds.
  3. Saute leeks in 2 tablespoons of olive oil (dairy free!) or butter (yum!) until soft.  You can add garlic and onions, too.
  4. Add 1 tablespoon thyme, and 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper, and stir for about 30 sec.
  5. Fill up the pot with water, add 2 bay leaves, 2 celery stalks cut in half, and all of your potatoes.
  6. Boil until potatoes are soft.
  7. Remove the bay leaves and celery.
  8. Use your immersion blender to make a puree.  If you don’t have an immersion blender, wait until soup cools(!) before blending in a regular blender. [Trust me, you can’t clean soup off the ceiling.]
  9. Season with salt and pepper until it tastes good.
  10. Sprinkle with chopped parsley.

Serve on a cold and foggy morning, after digging in the dirt.

September Open House

What a busy back-to-school month we’ve had!  Kimberly and I hosted our first Open House on Friday, September 13th, and 6 groups of enthusiastic kids came and worked on many different tasks to kick-start the gardening season.

 

  • Of course, each class got to do LOTS of weeding, and we harvested an entire rollie-bin (that’s a 96-gallon cart!) of weeds and trimmings.
  • The older classes constructed 6 new raised beds, and the third graders were enormously enthusiastic trying to out-shovel me.  I unloaded 2 cubic yards of soil into their buckets, and they RAN to dump them into the new beds; I could barely keep up!
  • The kids pounded in short lengths of pipe to anchor the large row-cover supports, and erected trellising for a fall pea-crop.

We were so busy, I didn’t take a single picture!  So here’s one from October, showing students dividing and planting the new beds.

Planting the new raised beds

Planting the new raised beds

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