Glenfeliz learned a very important lesson on growing seasons and how climate affects a plant’s growth patterns.
We spent some time discussing how our favorite fruits and vegetables each have their ideal growing conditions; strawberries and tomatoes like the heat, while broccoli and grapes like cooler temperatures. February’s sporadic heat waves gave us some examples of “bolting”, which occurs when the plant has growth spurts due to weather-related stress. Some of the bok choy heads were sprouting, while the strawberries were producing fruit when they should have been dormant.
In addition, I explained how different climates exist all over the globe, and how extremely different ones can be in the same country. We went over several parts of the US and their corresponding climates, and expressed gratitude in LA’s year-round growing season’s ability to provide fresh fruit at all times. This greatly contrasts with Boston, MA, which has an April-October growing season and a winter that can reach temperatures of -15.
To demonstrate the idea of growth patterns, we played a game of Growing Seasons. Each student receives a crop card with a fruit, flower, or vegetable on the front with its growing season on the back. The moderator gives out different weather conditions, e.g. 86 degrees, sunny, and arid- and the students must react as their character to the weather forecast. If it’s an ideal climate, then the students are to jump up and down yelling out, “I’m growing!!”. If it is an inauspicious forecast, then the students are to crouch down to signify they are “dormant”.