The Garden at Oswegatchie School is a sustainable organic garden where children get a hands on experience learning where their food comes from while developing an appreciation and respect for nature. The Garden will be a learning center to teach gardening as well as incorporating art, music, literature, math and science. It is a place where children are encouraged to join in and participate in the process of creating, developing and maintaining the garden!

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

First Garden Club of the Season

The weather was a little cool and breezy as we held our first Garden Club of the season. We had a great turnout with 18 students and 6 adults participating. After introductions and reminders about how to properly use the tools the children got right to work.

harvesting compost 
Last year the cafeteria workers collected fruit and vegetable scraps that we then added to our school compost bins. The students marveled at how it had composted down to dark, rich soil. "I remember when we put the scraps in, I didn't think this would ever happen!" "This is cool!" Clearly, the children were thrilled to see the full cycle of the compost process. The beautiful "black gold" was loaded with fat earthworms.

"let's call him worm-zilla!"
We used the fresh compost to amend the raised vegetable garden beds.


All of the students really pitched in doing their fair share of the work. They weeded the raised vegetable beds, helped remove debris from the center perennial bed, amended the raised beds with fresh compost, and then were able to discover all of the new spring growth taking place.

The children even got to taste the kale that over-wintered. I have never seen so many children eat and enjoy greens in my entire life! Everyone was thinking of pizza as they ran their hands over the perennial oregano and enjoyed its aromatic scent.

"I LOVE kale!!"
Bo the Bunny our new Garden mascot joined the fun.

This year's Garden Club is off to a fantastic start. We have some wonderful things planned for our school garden. We will also be posting more gardening tips and ideas here so others can enjoy their own gardens.

Monday, April 27, 2015

Sharing Seeds from the Garden

As payment for all of their hard work in the Garden, club members will receive 3 packets of organic seeds saved from last year's harvest. They can all be planted now and will be able to be harvested in a short amount of time. All of these seeds can be grown in containers or planted directly in the ground. The pictures below are from last years school garden.

Kale - Blue Curled Scotch
Plant now or wait until 3 months before expected fall frost. Sow 1/4-1/2 inch deep.Days to maturity - 55. Harvest by clipping individual leaves around 4-5 weeks old.

Lettuce- Rouge d'Hiver
Cool weather lettuce that grows best when temps are between 60-65 degrees but will germinate even at temps in the 40's. Sow seeds on surface,  cover lightly with approximately 1/8 inch of soil, then tamp lightly. 28 days to maturity. 

Greens- Ruby Streaks
Sow from early spring to late summer.Sow 1/4 -1/2 inch deep. 
 Cut when greens reach full size (12-18 inches). 
Days to maturity- 21 baby, 40 full size. 

By saving seeds  and regrowing them every year, they will become fully adapted to the region, resistant to pests and will produce bigger yields. This is why heirloom seeds, especially those from your specific region are the most prolific ones in your garden. Saving seeds  preserves genetic diversity, flavor and nutrition, unique varieties, and cultural heritage. 
Our hope is that each club member grows the seeds, saves seed from the plants, and shares them with other gardeners. Let's keep these organic beauties going!!

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Happy Earth Day!

Lilac starting to bud!

Happy Earth Day! After the long, cold, snowy winter we've had it was nice to get back in to the garden and see signs of life returning. The perennial bed is coming back full force as is the  oregano. The kale that overwintered looks great! We were able to take some compost from the bins and top dress one of the beds so far. In it we planted some more kale, lettuce and peas. The garlic we put in last fall is about 6 inches tall already! 

Here comes the garlic!

Our first Garden Club of the season will be held Tuesday April 28 at 3:15. We will be discussing garden protocol, cleaning out the remaining beds, adding compost to the raised vegetable beds and planting some more greens. There will also be a "surprise visitor". 

Lamb's ear


overwintered kale

Johnny jump ups

peas and greens just planted

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