Eagle Rock – New Beginnings

Hello Garden Friends!

This Monday marked the beginning of a new era at Eagle Rock Jr./Sr. High School. With cold frames, lots of land, and an enthusiastic horticulture teacher, it seems the sky is the limit for this school’s edible education program.

Our first class was a science class comprised of 7th graders. After gauging the students’ knowledge of plants and soil nutrition, I gave a brief lesson about seasonal vegetables and why peas and other legumes are great to plant in the fall. They form symbiotic relationships with nitrogen fixing bacteria in the soil. The peas provide the bacteria with carbohydrates in exchange for their excess nitrogen (usually a limiting nutrient in the soil). As a result, the soil is stronger than it was before the peas got there! Check out this photo of the kids sowing pea seeds in the virgin raised beds!

photo 1

The next class was horticulture and we had lots of work to do. Behind the raised beds are several ridge rows which needed to be leveled and amended with compost. In order to amend the beds with compost we needed to sift it first. In the featured image you can see all the hands involved in the sifting activity. Students love seeing and smelling healthy soil. In addition, those that are not squeamish cherish the opportunity to visit with all the isopods and larvae that transform the plant waste into soil.

Until next time, grow on!
-Jeff Mailes