Plants From Around the World at Glenfeliz Elementary

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Hello! The Glenfeliz Elementary garden is heading into the fall season as summer produce slows down and our new seeds begin to germinate for the cooler months. Each of our students has gotten to plant a seed (a variety of beets, carrots, leeks, bok choy, Chinese cabbage, and radish!), and our beds should be filling back up with the staples of autumn. Unfortunately, we have a pesky visitor – either a raccoon or maybe some larger squirrels – that like the seeds even more than we do and has been pillaging the beds for our young plants. Our schedule has fallen just a bit behind as we race to replant in time and try to outwit our nighttime thief. The best deterrent to pests is strong, healthy plants, so we’ve been amending our beds heartily and hope the reinvigorated soil, as well as the ripe smell, will keep restless paws at bay.

This week’s lesson touched on the pest issue at hand before delving into our specific topic of the week – native plants. For some of our younger groups, this was an altogether new term for them. The older students had a fair understanding of the word native as it applies to human inhabitants, but introducing this concept within the context of the plant world was a new idea. With all groups, we discussed the ability of plants to adapt to their environments, how distinct cultural diets have developed resourcefully around each part of the world’s native plants, and how global trade has influenced the great biodiversity available to Americans at our local grocery stores. After learning about which plants in our diet are native to the Americas, we got to discover where some of our other favorite foods come from. Students then explored each garden bed in an attempt to determine the native origin of each plant in the bed.

We ended the day with a trail mix snack comprised of fruits and seeds native to our part of Southern California! We only have a few weeks left with this group of students for now, and we press on to expand their relationship to the garden and its connection to the way they view food!

 

 

Until next time,

Farmer Ted

Teddy Menard

Hi there! I'm Farmer Ted. I love nurturing plants throughout their growth from little seeds to nutrient-rich produce. As an educator, there is no more important space for me to share knowledge with youth than in the garden, where my experience as a chef also informs my relationship to the things that we grow and the creative ways we can approach our harvests!

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