Tuesday, October 2, 2012

A Season of Gardening

With cool nights and dry days, our growing season is coming to an end.  Looking back on the summer, we've enjoyed a variety of foods from our garden and have even taken the opportunity to plant several rounds of crops, from cool weather greens to warm weather peppers, to fall root crops.

In July, despite the heavy heat waves plaguing MN--and most of the U.S.--the garden blossomed under the attentive care of the Arlington Hills students.  We spent a few weeks trimming back the garden, which was teeming with greens and herbs, while the beans and eggplants were just beginning to flower.  The garden was producing a hearty supply of greens, which students took home each week, but under the intense heat, the greens began to bolt and it was finally time to take them out.  While we usually  have just enough veggies for the class that works in the garden, on this particular day, all the students in the school were able to enjoy this impressive yield.  In place of the greens, students planted a mid-summer crop of cucumbers, beets, radishes, and kale.



In August and September the garden exploded in flowers and flourished with vegetables. The students took home tomatoes and peppers from the bucket gardens, and eggplant, cucumbers, okra, and carrots from the external gardens.





With plenty of produce, the gardening lessons often carried over into "Jobs Club," where students divided, weighed, and labeled the harvest.



Now, as the October days grow shorter and the nights threaten to frost, it is time to end our gardening season. In spite of record breaking heat and drought, the garden has given us much to be thankful for. This week, we will gather the last of our crops and put our garden to rest for the winter.

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