Archive | February, 2012

Snow in the garden…snow peas.

21 Feb

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The kindergarten gardeners are going to be SO EXCITED!!  2 weeks ago they planted snow peas in the vegetable beds and now, here they are!!  Nothing like bringing something to life to make for a big day at school.

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Dragons in the garden

21 Feb

 

The RPE students work hard when they are in the garden, learning more about science and math and language.  But we also like to share a little of the wonderment of the outdoors.  Last week, we got to introduce the kids to Snapdragons, which had been planted last winter and had come back.  Snapdragons are named because of their resemblance to a dragon’s head which then opens and closes (or snaps) when squeezed on the base of the flower. 

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The kids LOVED  learning about this interesting name and I hope some of these small things they learn are part of the joy of being in the Titan Garden.

Don’t forget to attend our Know and Grow session THURSDAY!

16 Feb

Attention adults- kids aren’t the only ones who like to have fun in the garden!  While your kids are in school, YOU can come learn in the garden!

Our first Know and Grow session will be on Spring Vegetable Gardening.

Spring Vegetable Gardening Know and Grow Session
Thursday, February 16
10:30 a.m. – 11:15 a.m.
Titan Garden Outdoor Classroom @ River Place Elementary 

Need a little help for your spring vegetable garden? This event is open to all parents and community members, and will provide tips for growing a successful spring vegetable garden. Join us in the Titan Garden Outdoor classroom on the 16th, and learn what vegetables to plant when for a successful harvest. See you there!

Scorpions, cockroaches and spiders, oh my!

16 Feb

With the feeling of spring peeping out every few days, we have been having a blast in the Titan Garden with the 1st graders and kindergarteners.  They are noticing more and more green with every visit and the kindergarten students are about due to see their snow pea shoots emerging from the ground.  Now you know there’s gonna be some celebrating on THAT day!

But what really might interest you is bugs.  Not just any bugs but BIG BUGS.  Like this

 

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Now THAT is a cockroach.  A Madagascar Hissing Cockroach to be specific. 

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Huge thanks to Wizzy Brown, our Travis County AgriLife Extension entomologist who visited with all of our 1st grade classes to talk to them about bugs living in the garden and what kind of habitats they might choose.  Now we don’t expect to see that giant cockroach walking around, that was really just for thrills.  And yes, your kids did pet the cockroach.

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Some of our teachers were even brave enough to pet the cockroach.  Ms. Phillips even brought her around on her hand to say hi to all the kids.

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There was a male and female hissing cockroach that the kids got to see.  How can you tell them apart?  The male has horns- and a complete lack of sense of direction.  Smile

 

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Wizzie spoke to the students about how bugs contribute to the garden and how we can not assume that all bugs are bad bugs, that many of them are essential to our garden, and to our earth, to ensure that soil remains healthy, flowers get pollinated, and bad bug populations are controlled. Some classes explored around the garden a bit with Wizzie to see if they could spot areas that might be good bug habitats and find plants that would even attract bugs.  

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Along with our cockroaches, the kids also got to see an Emperor Scorpion, a very large centipede and millipede, and the molted skin of a Goliath Bird-Eating Tarantula.  Believe me, the skin was enough to see- I didn’t need to see the whole spider. 

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Thanks to Wizzie for taking time to speak to River Place students!

Movin’ Up in the Titan Garden

8 Feb

We are moving up in the Titan Garden, and by that I mean making more room for our plants to grow up.  Because we like things that climb and are delicious- like snow peas…and cucumbers…and beans.  And we like fun things to walk under. 

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So a few weeks ago we went and purchased two cattle panels, one of our favorite accessories in the garden. They can be used for climbing roses and perennial vines, but we LOVE to use them in the vegetable garden. And we wrap pipe insulation around the edges to  make sure they stay soft in case someone bumps into them. 

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The kindergarten classes came out and planted snow peas at the bottom of these trellises.  And then it rained, and rained, and rained.  That is Mother Nature’s way of telling us that she likes our choice of accessories. 

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Know and Grow Session: Spring Vegetables in the Garden

7 Feb

Attention adults- kids aren’t the only ones who like to have fun in the garden!  We are excited to announce a new series we are trying in the Titan Garden for all of our community adults- Know and Grow sessions.  These are brief, 45 minute session that discuss a specific area of gardening that some of you might like to know more about.  And while your kids are in school, YOU can come learn in the garden!

Our first Know and Grow session will be on Spring Vegetable Gardening.

Spring Vegetable Gardening Know and Grow Session
Thursday, February 16
10:30 a.m. – 11:15 a.m.
Titan Garden Outdoor Classroom @ River Place Elementary 

Need a little help for your spring vegetable garden? This event is open to all parents and community members, and will provide tips for growing a successful spring vegetable garden. Join us in the Titan Garden Outdoor classroom on the 16th, and learn what vegetables to plant when for a successful harvest. See you there!

Questions?  Email Bonnie Martin.