When it’s spring at DGS, do as the plants — and grow. And harvest. And plant the seeds of future growth! As the campus is enveloped in the fully expanded leaves of our wonderful tree canopy, we've noticed the changing light, shadow, temperature, and air. Those campus plants are furiously growing, while at the same time our winter greens - both in aquaponic system and raised bed - have circled to the end of their life cycles, and have been eagerly harvested. Farmers market plants have been transplanted and grown so quickly, we've had to pinch some back! The plants will put out side growth and we get fresh-snipped herbs.
Lower El showed some great teamwork in forming a self-created assembly line when harvesting our giant Tuscan kale and collards from the aquaponic beds. We compared the growth of the greens to that in the raised beds - and the aquaponic plants were much more lush and did not bolt (go to seed) as quickly. Four big grocery bags stuffed full of greens were donated to Ada Jenkins food pantry. We harvested from the "wild", as well, learning to identify wild plantain and violets with certainty. We foraged, wilted, chopped, and began the infusion in olive oil that will be the base for next year's boo-boo balm.
After a few unexpected delays, Upper Elementary shared their knowledge and feelings about climate change through the power of their voices. Davidson College environmental activists from the Sunrise club visited and interviewed our students as the culmination of this multi-session unit of study. We recorded the interviews around this global issue - their voices are honest and impactful - and I hope to be able to share an edited version soon. Of course, there is always plant and farm work this time of year. UE did the actual planting of the herbal extravaganza containers for the art auction and the results spoke for themselves.
Middle Schoolers practiced some serious "reuse" skills in set-making for the Seussical and continued to flex their artistry on rocks and pot labels for the art auction, as well as plant signs for the farmers market. They’ve done a WIDE variety of farm tasks, as well. It's definitely been a month of "practical life" for MS.
We capped off our year in Sustainability with a unit on pollination and the critical importance of pollinators to the balance of our living planet, as well as the food on our plates. Look for a handout coming home with lists of specific plants you can add to your garden to support the bees, butterflies, and hummingbirds in our midst and ask your children how else they can help the pollinators that help us so much. I love ending our year with such a beautiful and concrete example of community, shining a light on the threads of the web-of-life that connect ALL of us. May your summer be full of opportunities for connection and community!