Hamlin Charter Academy loves vegetables!

Celery stem transporting red water to the leaves

October 16, 2018 was a big day at Hamlin Charter Academy.  The irrigation system in the new garden has been successfully fine-tuned, and our seeds are starting to germinate in numbers to be proud of.  It was thrilling to see the new seedlings emerge from the soil at last!  Previously only a few peas had been successful.

What’s eating our broccoli?

We explored the difference between how lettuce, cabbage, and kale leaves look and feel.  Something really likes eating our broccoli leaves!  We did the experiment with red food coloring and celery stalks to demonstrate how the stems move the water (red, in this case) to the leaves. We identified which part of the plant we eat for some familiar vegetables.

Celery stem transporting red water to the leaves

We acted out the life cycle of a plant, starting as a crouching, quiet seed, sprouting roots (stamping our feet to anchor our roots in the ground) and extending leaves to grab the sun’s energy, then standing tall with our stems until our flowers produced seeds for the next generation.

Then we had a garden tasting.  We ate carrot roots, celery stems, broccoli flowers, and spinach leaves,  Swiss chard leaves, and kale leaves. Carrots were the yummiest and kale the bitterest tasting, but almost everyone had the courage to taste most of the vegetables.

Melanie Golder

Gardening and teaching are my two favorite things, so I feel lucky to be a Garden Ranger where I get to do both! I am a retired academic science reference librarian and middle school science teacher. I have a Master’s degree in Botany from the University of Texas at Austin as well as too many other degrees in a variety of subjects. I started my first garden as a form of meditation while my late husband was slowly dying from a long battle with MS and juvenile diabetes and gained so much peace and enjoyment from watching my plants grow that now I can’t stop.

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