Pheww! What a busy day in the garden at Toluca Lake Elementary!
I arrived almost an hour before class to prep some beds for more winter planting. The tomatoes have finally gassed out, and the crazy toma-to-topia jungle that once was, is no more. (Tomato-topia is a word I overheard a student use while he helped me pull tomato plants:)
Although there are no more juicy tomatoes, there are many other plants to be excited about in the garden! The cabbage, garlic, kale, lettuce, snap peas, broccoli and kohl rabis are really taking off!
Today’s lesson involved plant reproduction– sexual vs. cloning!
When we think of sexual plant reproduction, we should think seeds- and everything involved in producing seeds. Flowers, pollen, pollination, fruit and such. This creates genetic diversity by combining male and female plant parts to produce offspring.
A type of asexual reproduction is cloning. This is when a plant sprouts directly from the original plant, with no seeds or pollination. This process produces identical genetics. Garlic is a great example of this! When you put a clove of garlic in the ground, it will sprout and develop into a whole bulb!
Students broke off into groups to plant seeds AND bulbs of garlic. After getting our hands dirty, we cleaned them off and enjoyed a garden snack. On today’s menu: Flat bread, dino kale from the garden and a WHOLE clove of roasted garlic. After much encouragement, EVERY student in class today tried the garlic! And a solid 95% loved it!
This lesson ties well to a health lesson. I explained that as humans bodies have a shield, called immune systems. When we eat healthfully that shield is strong and repels germs that may cause colds and flus. Conversely, if we eat ice cream and french fries everyday, this shield is weakened and these germs enter our body more easily.
So as flu season approaches, be sure to eat those fruits and veggies! (especially garlic 🙂