Archive | November, 2011

News from the Titan Garden: Week of November 21, 2011

25 Nov

During this week of Thanksgiving, we have so much to be thankful for in this year of expanding our Titan Garden:
  • Thank you to all the parent volunteers who have worked in the garden over the past 3 years to build it and maintain it.
  • Thank you to all of the companies like Malt-O-Meal, Home Depot, and IBM who have contributed financially to the expansion project
  • Thank you to all of the organizations including River Place Garden Club, Girl Scouts, Boy Scouts, Vandergrift Honor Society,  and Four Points Middle School Honor Society for contributing volunteer hours to our garden
  • Thank you to all of the companies who have donated hours and materials to help us make this dream come true:  Above the Plane, Austin Green Water, AustinGutter King, Dirty Work Services, Holsinger Architecture, Home Depot, JPConcrete, Straight & Level Construction, Structures,  and Wilson Roofing
  • Thank you to all of the teachers who are exploring the possibilities of ways to use the Titan Garden in their curriculum.
  • Thank you to all the students who continue to inspire and show how much the Titan Garden has to offer. 
 The Titan Garden is open to our RPE teachers and their classes every day of the week- come explore!
Want to learn more about our garden?
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Article on installation day event

18 Nov

Thanks to Four Points News for writing about our installation day event. Article on Page 2.

News from the Titan Garden: Week of November 14, 2011

17 Nov

Have you used our outdoor classroom at the Titan Garden?  There are lots of useful items there to help your class have a great experience.  Our new garden thermometer, measuring both Celsius and Fahrenheit, has been installed on the classroom post.  Other items in the classroom that your class can use include lap dry-erase boards, clipboards, and shovels. 

Our vegetable beds are alive with sprouts thanks to the great planting of our first grade garden classes.  Vegetables that are growing include kale, Swiss chard, lettuce, carrots, broccoli and spinach.  And don’t forget to check out the radish seeds planted by many of our teachers located in the cinder block holes. 

What happens when cooler weather rolls around?  Hopefully our new plants get a chance to settle in before any severe freezes happen.  Because we focus on native and adapted plants, many of them will freeze back but stay root hardy, meaning they will come back in the spring.  Our cool season vegetables will get some frost protection from row cover cloth if a hard freeze is forecast. 

New plant labels are appearing in the garden this week giving plant names and information. 

Titan Garden Activity Ideas

  • Studying water?  Let us help you put together a lesson on rainwater conservation where students can learn to measure how much water can be gathered from our roof in the garden and how fast our barrels will fill up. 
  • Plant growth is a great way to learn about graphing.  Have students measure the vegetable plants growing in the vegetable garden every week and chart their growth.
  • Looking at our garden is a great way to learn about weather, climate, environment and why certain plants do well here (native and adapted) and certain ones do not.  Discuss how our climate drives how our native plants look (hint:  conserving moisture is important to these plants)

News from the Titan Gardens: Week of November 7, 2011

9 Nov

Teachers, have you checked on their radish sprouts yet?  I have and I’ve seen green!!  It is very important to keep germinating seeds in slightly moist soil so we have been using our stored up rainwater to keep your radish seeds happy.  Check them out with your students.

Want to keep up with the news from the garden?  Our blog is easy to find at http://www.titangarden.org.   You’ll find lots of news on what is happening in the garden seasonally as well as what other classes are using it for.  Want to feature your class in the garden?  Just tell us what you’re using it for and we will write it up.  Even better, snap a picture for us to post!

Titan Garden Activity Ideas

  •      Students need to practice their writing skills?  Try writing some garden poetry or do a guided writing exercise where students explore what it would be like to be a worm in the dirt crawling among the roots.
  •      Working on measuring?  There are lots and lots of areas to measure in the garden.  Students can even practice calculating volume and area with the raised beds. 
  •      Studying trees?  Trees are going through lots of changes right now with some dropping acorns, others having their leaves turn color or even losing them.  Have students notice these changes and write about them.

Enjoy the weather as it gets a bit cooler this week and check out all of our veggie sprouts coming up!

First graders go planting in the new garden beds!

2 Nov

On Friday, Oct 21, the first graders came out to a whole new garden.  The weekend before saw many of them up at school helping to expand our garden with many new planting areas.  Now it was time to plant!  But before they would head out with their plants, we took a look at the mudshake we prepared at our last class and saw how different materials had separated out because of their size and weight. 

And on to planting.  Our awesome first grade gardeners really had their work cut out for them as they were going to be planting in the native garden and the herb wheel. 


We explored some of the new herbs in the herb wheel, smelling them, like lemon verbena, pineapple sage and lavender. 


We talked about how important it is to prepare the spot well for the new plant by digging a big enough hole and loosening the roots on the plant. Finally, everyone made sure to water their new plants in well.


The students successfully planted our Mediterranean herbs, Mexican herbs and lemon-scented herb areas. 

 

And with great native plant choices like  Mexican feather grass and salvias, we hope our native garden will be a great place to experience the garden no matter what our weather might bring.  Congratulations to all the first grade teachers and students who participated in building and planting the Titan garden areas.  More to come next week as our vegetable seeds will be going in!

RPE First graders learn about soil composition

1 Nov
The RPE first graders have been coming to the Titan Gardens weekly for activities that tie into their classroom curriculum.  Recently, they had a science unit on pebbles, soil and silt and came out to the garden to learn more about soil composition.  They started by building their own model of the different size particles that make up good garden soil like sand, silt and clay. 

The kids had fun realizing that the jar was never really full because there was always more space in between to put smaller things. 

After building their models, they explored some garden soil with their hands and tried to identify some of the different things that are in garden soil including sticks, roots, sand, pebbles, etc.

Their final activity was to watch a “mudshake” being prepared with a soil sample which they would explore further at their next visit.