Archive | October, 2011

News from the Titan Gardens – Week of October 17, 2011

21 Oct

Have you seen the new garden?  It is amazing what can be accomplished with the work of a community.  Thank you to all those who gave time to help with the garden installation workday.  If you would like your class to be involved in the planting of our native, herb or vegetable areas please let me know.  We will also be clearing out many of the old raised beds and these can be used by your class.  Please let me know if you want to use one and we will reserve it for you.

Titan Garden Activity Ideas

  • Make sure your students know the basics of plant survival- P.L.A.N.T. :  Place to put roots, Light, Air, Nutrients, Thirsty (Water).  Pick some spots in the garden (in a bed, on a tree branch, on the sidewalk) and have your students tell you if each place fits the PLANT requirements.  
  • Our herb wheel garden is a great place to learn about fractions since it is divided into equal “slices”.

    
Upcoming Events:

  • Fall wildflower stomp-Monday, October 24th during grade recess times.  We will be preparing an area by the classroom for the annual Wildflower Stomp.  Volunteers will come get a few classes at a time.  Parents invited as well!
  • Teacher tour of the garden –October 26th

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WOW! Titan Gardens Installation Day a huge success!

18 Oct

We had an awesome turnout of volunteers to help us this past Saturday for our Titan Gardens Installation at River Place Elementary. What an incredible event it was to see. We had over 160 volunteers including students and families from River Place Elementary, Four Points Middle School, and Vandergrift High School; volunteers from the River Place Garden Club, Travis County Master Gardeners, Austin Herb Society; volunteers from our main financial sponsor The Home Depot including Mike Reichert who manages our local Four Points Home Depot, and even friends who don’t have a connection to RPE but came out to support others. With all of these helping hands, the job got done! Thank you so much for all of your enthusiasm and hard work. Check out this video celebrating the day! I can only hope it gives you some sense of the enormous volunteer effort that this project took.

Our students will be out this week planting and then next week stomping in Wildflower Seeds during our annual RPE Wildflower Stomp. RPE parents, please feel free to join during your child’s recess to stomp in seeds!

News from the Titan Gardens: Week of October 10, 2011

12 Oct


This is a big week in the Titan Gardens.  We are preparing for our Garden Installation day on Saturday October 15th from 9am-3pm so we will have a busy week of materials delivery and preparations.  I hope many of you will join with students, parents and community members by giving whatever time you can spare to build our new garden areas that will be a lasting resource for our students. 

Plants continue to catch a second wind as cooler temperatures at night allow them to recover from heat during the day.  This means more growth and more flowers.

Titan Garden Activity Ideas

  • Make sure your students know the basics of plant survival- P.L.A.N.T. S. :  Plants need, Light, Air, Nutrients, Thirsty (Water), Soil.  Pick some spots in the garden (in a bed, on a tree branch, on the sidewalk) and have your students tell you if each place fits the PLANTS requirements. 
  • Why not bring your class out to the garden for some reading time?  Mornings are nice and cool and after recess, this is a great place to transition back to class time. 
  • What does a successful habitat need to provide for wildlife? Foods, water, cover for protection, and a place for wildlife to raise young.  Interested in having your students create a schoolyard habitat recognized by the National Wildlife Federation?  This can be a great year-long project for multiple grades and a satisfying accomplishment for students. 

Upcoming Events:

  • Titan Gardens Installation Day- families, staff and community welcome – October 15, 9am-3pm
  • Fall wildflower stomp-Monday, October 24th during recess times
  • Teacher tour of the garden –October 26th

Our first delivery for the new garden

11 Oct
This is it, the week leading up to the Titan Garden Installation day on Saturday October 15th!  Only 4 days away.  And this last Saturday we got a new addition to the garden in preparation for our native plant garden being added.  Meet Mossy, the boulder.

Mossy, so named because she is a moss rock, weighs in at 1/2 ton- that is 1000 pounds for anyone wondering.  She had her own special truck bring her to our school (I’m not implying she is a diva or anything but…).  She was so heavy, she almost broke the wood pallet she was riding on as she rode across our field to reach her final resting spot. 

Her sunny new home will end up being in the middle of our future native plant garden where she will happily provide a little hardscape structure among all the lovely plants growing around her. 

Welcome Mossy.  We are glad you’re here.

1st Grade classes learn about PLANTS

9 Oct

Our first grade classes came out this week to visit the new garden classroom and learn more about plants and soil in the garden.  This was their first of the weekly classes they will have in the garden, with our lessons coordinating with their Pebbles, Sand and Silt science unit and then moving onto other areas. 

The first graders got right to work suggesting some rules for their garden, everything from “no picking without permission”  to “respect our garden” and “no squishing bugs”.  Our lesson for the day was learning what plants need for survival.  The students were able to help us list all the plant needs on the dry erase board.  Then we shared a trick to remember: P.L.A.N.T.S.

P lants need:
L ight
A ir
N utrients
T hirsty (water)
S oil

The we split into groups and Garden Buddies had the kids decide on what places outside were good to put plants based on what they had learned  They had it down pat!  Great job!  Our weather ranged from cloudy to rain to sunshine for our classes coming out.  But it was great having students come out and see the rain barrels filling up right before their eyes. 

A great first week of classes!  We hope many of these first graders will come with their families on October 15th from 9-3pm for our installation workday to expand our garden.  These guys will be planting in the new areas before you know it. 

News from the Titan Gardens: Week of October 3, 2011

4 Oct

Does it seem like the same old plants are out in the garden?  You’re right.  Because we have our installation coming to expand the garden in just two weeks, we are letting plants recover from the high temperatures in order to transplant them to new areas of the garden.  At that time, most of our old grade-level beds will be cleared out. These beds will be available to any teacher who might want to do some planting for a specific lesson or class project.  Want to use one of the beds?  Just let me know and we will reserve it for you for whatever time period you need it!

Cooler temperatures are bringing new blooms to the garden as plants recover from the heat.  Just this week, I noticed Blackfoot Daisy with small white blooms and Turk’s Cap with its little red bonnet blooms.

Upcoming Events:

  • Titan Gardens Community Build Day- families, staff and community welcome – October 15, 9am-3pm.  Please join with teachers, parents and students to help build our new garden areas.     
  • Fall wildflower stomp-Monday, October 24th
  • Teacher tour of the garden –October 26th

Titan Garden Activity Ideas

  • Let students study our new rainwater harvesting system.  How does it work?  Why do we catch rainwater off a roof rather than just setting the barrel out in the open?  Older students can even learn how to calculate how much rain will be caught.
  • What happens to most life cycles as temperatures start to cool?  
  • Insects, trees, plants- can we see a common theme in how most of them react to a cooler season?
  • What does a successful habitat need to provide for wildlife? Food, water, cover for protection, and a place for wildlife to raise young.  Interested in having your students create a schoolyard habitat recognized by the National Wildlife Federation?  This can be a great year-long project for multiple grades and a satisfying accomplishment for students.  Ask me for more info!

If you have questions or would like volunteers to help your class learn in the garden, please contact me.