Newtown Planting The Seed!

Volume 17

Life Cycles

The garden is a wealth of instructional potential. While I don't encourage taking caterpillars from the garden to your classroom, It has happened. Mrs. Hall's class is being treated to the change from a caterpillar to a butterfly for what should be Black Swallowtail Butterflies. I found a chrysalis in the garden in an unexpected spot that could be another Black Swallowtail or it could be a cabbage moth. It was found next to the Kale which is what they like.

And if you move to the courtyard garden, we have the life cycle of a duck playing out with a mama duck on a nest in the rosemary with five eggs. She's being very patient with us humans.

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Homemade Plant Food

There are tons of recipes out there for homemade plant food and it can be very inexpensive to make. You also then know what is going into the plant vs. some of the prepackaged plant food and chemical fertilizers. I'm providing a link here to a recipe put out by Bob Villa. It uses very common items like baking soda and Epsom Salt to create plant food and explains the benefits of each ingredient.

Garden Time

Garden Time is much more than just gardening. The students work at all the support that goes along with having an enjoyable learning space. From weeding and watering to building birdhouses and painting benches. Its also a family time. While a student started off building a birdhouse with Mrs. Buhner, she got to get some assistance from her dad when he showed up to pick her up. Its a fun time for everyone. And yes, the kids even chased grasshoppers.
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How many of you have eaten beets. Far too many times we try something prepared or cooked a specific way and we say "I don't like that" and never give it another try. Or we hear of how something like dill was used and due to lack of exposure have no idea the vastly different ways they can be used and come out totally different than what we know.

Many people have only been exposed to pickled beets, me, I love them. They are pickled in vinegar and have a very specific taste and texture. But did you know that the greens tops can be eaten as well and there are so many different ways to prepare beets. We also typically only get exposed to one variety of a vegetable. Beets have many different varieties with many different tastes.

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Here is a link to information about 17 different varieties of beets. We have grown at least two of them here, one being the Badger Flame Beet.
Beet greens are actually very nutritious and have lots of uses in our diets. Here are fifteen different ways to prepare and eat beet greens. If you try any of them please let me know what you thought.
And finally, before moving on. How can I talk about beets and not give you some options for ways to prepare beets for your meals. Roasted, Beet Veggie Noodles, Beet Rice and many more. Again, if you try any of these, let us know what you thought.