Spring continues to fly by in Garden class...we're soaking up as much fun and learning as we can before we part ways for the summer!
Week 6 we took a closer look at the importance and process of pollination, discovering more about who our local pollinators are. We played a hands on pollination game to explore how bees communicate and work together to support their communities. We also celebrated Cinco de Mayo in class with a batch of "Agua de Jamaica," which is a type of juice or infusion made from Hibiscus flowers, enjoyed in Mexico and areas of the Caribbean. We added in honey, to celebrate both aspects of pollination!
Week 7 our class focused on service learning projects in the garden, such as planting, weeding, and harvesting the abundance. We also began a larger project: building Mason bee houses for our backyards and school garden. Students started with a plain block of Fir, and worked hard to create functional and beautiful bee houses. Mason bees are a vital part of our local pollinator community, and as solitary bees are very gentle and non-territorial, making them the perfect pollinator to invite into our home gardens.
More info about Mason bees and caring for Mason bee houses can be found at the links below:
Week 8 we began a new, two-week project of creating our very own GAP cookbooks to take home and share with our families. Over the past year together, students have created a number of delicious recipes in class utilizing fresh, seasonal produce. Some of our class favorites, such as pea pesto and garden pickles will make this cookbook really special.
One last note - a quick reminder to GAP families: we will be having a short but sweet potluck on Wednesday, June 8th from 5-6pm. Students will be showcasing some homegrown and homemade garden snacks, and sharing some experiences from their time in GAP. Please join us!
Hello GAP families!
Happy May to everyone...I can't believe how fast Spring term is flying by. The past three weeks have been filled with hands on learning around indigenous foods, crafts, and storytelling, Earth Day celebrations, and an exploration of insects in the garden.
During week 3 we learned about some of the Native American tribes of the Pacific Northwest through traditional stories and myths, following characters such as Raven, Coyote, and Bear. We harvested and brewed Douglas Fir and Spruce tip tea, a traditional recipe that provided local peoples with vitamin C before citrus was introduced to the Americas. We closed our week together by cooking bannock bread (a sort of cross between a pancake and a scone) with local huckleberries.
Week 4 was possibly the most beautiful week of weather we've had yet this year, and in GAP we took full advantage of being outside as much as possible. Students created giant bubbles, and made fresh strawberry ice cream from scratch. We also talked about the meaning of Earth Day, and how each of us helps care for our whole community, including nature, animals--and our families and friends. On Earth Day we created a large poster that collected all of the ways we help take care of the earth, and hung it in the gazebo to help inspire the Abernethy community.
Week 5 began our exploration of the small but hugely important world of insects and pollinators! Students observed and sketched live ladybugs before releasing them in the garden to help keep harmful insects in check as the weather gets warmer. Students also created their own hypotheses about where the most insect life can be found on the grounds, and then investigated and took inventory of how many and what types of insects they found in each place. Hot spots of diversity included areas such as the compost bins, the herb garden, and some of the flowering trees.
This week we will be learning about the importance of pollinator populations and how they can help us support healthy ecosystems and local food.
One last bit of news: With only 6 more weeks before summer break, we are starting to plan a small end of the year celebration for GAP students and their families. We are looking at Wednesday June 8th from 5-6pm (the last day of school is Thursday June 9th). We hope you can join us for some delicious snacks and fun activities that let students share what they've done this year in GAP!
All the best,