Archive | March, 2012

Getting kindergarten to eat their vegetables…not hard after all!

30 Mar

 

How do you get over 100 kindergarteners to eat their vegetables?  Turns out it is not as tough as you would think.  First, you let them plant seeds in a garden and watch them grow.  Then you let them (and I say let them because these kids BEG to weed and water) work every week to keep that garden going strong. Oh, and teach them a few lessons about life cycles, bugs, worms, and, most importantly, how vegetables don’t sprout magically in the produce section of the grocery store. 

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After all of that hard work, harvest some veggies, serve them up and ring the chow bell, because those kids came running.

Radishes on top?  Yes, please.  IMG_1570

 

Vinaigrette dressing?  Uh-huh.

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Broccoli flowers to decorate and eat?  You bet!

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“And can we have seconds??”

And no one complained about being served “green things”.  Way to go, kindergarten.  You guys are some of the best gardeners I know…and the hungriest. 

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Wildflowers in bloom at Titan Garden

28 Mar

It has been wonderful seeing the wildflower field colors emerge with these drenching rains we have been receiving.  Thought I would share some of the pictures, but I hope many of our River Place families will take some time to walk through the area with their kids and explore the different flowers.

Drummond Phlox

Texas Bluebonnet

Indian Blanket

Texas Star

Golden Wave Coreopsis

 I expect we’ll see a few more varieties pop out over the next month.  Thanks to our fabulous kindergarten, 1st and 5th grade gardeners for helping us get weeds out of our wildflower area so we can get the most from our wildflower plants!

Getting buggy with 1st grade

9 Mar
Anyone who has a 1st grader knows that back around winter break, it was ALL about caterpillars and butterflies as the 1st graders were waiting their little caterpillar friends hatch in the classroom.  Out in the garden with the 1st graders, we were learning about insects in general- about habitats, what defines an insect, etc. 
One rainy Friday, we took our garden lesson indoors and taught the 1st graders all about different insect mouth parts.  Better yet, we had them turn into insects and use their new mouth parts.  
Here’s a couple of new insects now- learning how to use their chewing mouth parts.  These insects have mandibles which can grab food, bring it close and tear it.  Our little chewing insects preferred the taste of little candies and were particularly adept at grabbing them and flipping them into their mouths.

Oh, and here is another insect who has a sucking mouth part.  These insects have long, thin tubes called proboscis that they insert and suck up liquid.  We were lucky enough to have some butterflies in this group drinking nectar, but also had some mosquitoes drinking blood. 

And here is our last group of insects with sponging mouth parts.  These insects like to dab their mouth parts on things and sponge them up- but beware because in order to make their sponging mouth parts work well, they spit on their food to moisten it.  Our little bugs decided to have a race to see whether those that spit pick up food better than those that don’t.  

 Our little bugs did a great job using their new mouth parts, but I’m sure their parents are relieved there won’t be any bug mouth parts coming to the dinner table. 

Come learn about drought tolerant choices for the garden

5 Mar

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<![endif]–>Our next Know and Grow session for adults, Drought Tolerant Choices for the
Garden
, is on Thursday, March 8, 10:30-11:15.  Join us to
learn about some great choices out there to give your garden color, texture, and
not spike your water bill! Meet in the Titan Garden Outdoor Classroom. The Titan Garden is located at River Place Elementary at 6500 Sitio del Rio Blvd.