Archive | September, 2012

Mud shakes and ladybugs for 1st grade

28 Sep

Ms. Phillips 1st grade came out for their first garden class of the year today. After exploring the garden and finds all different examples of plant parts, we talked about what plants need to stay alive. We can remember it all so easily by just saying the word PLANT. P is for place to grow. L is for light. A is for air. N is for nutrients. T is for thirsty when plants need to drink water.

Mud shakes were next on our activities. These are not the kind you want to eat but they are just as cool. We dug up some soil from our area, added some water and then shook it as much as we could. We talked about what will happen if we leave it for a week. Our predictions:

-it will rot
-it will dry out
-a plant will grow inside
-it will become dark, tough mud
-the leaves will get stuck in the mud

We will check it out again next week to see if our predictions are correct. We are trying to use out scientific methods of predictions and observations out in the garden. And right now we are starting to study soil and what it is made of in our science class.

Finally, we wanted to find out where all of the ladybugs in the garden are hanging out. We know you can find ladybugs easiest if you can find their favorite food- APHIDS!! Ms. Bonnie said she saw some aphids on the milkweed plant in the native garden. So we strolled over and sure enough, we saw ladybugs in different stages of their life cycle- pupa, larva and adult. Hopefully next time we can even see some ladybug eggs.

Location:River Place Elementary Titan Garden


August in the Titan Garden

1 Sep


Titan Garden emerges from summer better than ever!

1 Sep

August means getting ready for the kids to go back to school so we have been busy in the Titan Garden getting everything ship shape. Huge thanks to all of our adoption families who adopted the Titan Garden for a week at a time to take care of it through the summer. 
Everyone did an amazing job of garden care from watering, weeding to -FUN- harvesting!!   Our adopting families got to enjoy tomatoes, cucumbers, squash, chard and herbs all summer long as their payback. 
We have some great projects we have undertaken to make our garden even better.  First, we have added a task list chalkboard up at the garden where we will be able to list our Garden To Do list so anyone can come by and help anytime.  Or leave fun notes for us.   Second, we have added a drip irrigation system for the vegetable garden, which will help our watering chores.  Third, we have added some AMAZING new signs to the garden.
These signs provide education on all different aspects of the garden, like rainwater harvesting, solar panels, composting, growing vegetables, herb gardens and native plants and insects. DSC09846
We hope these signs will make class visits to the garden even more fun for students as well as provide information for community visitors.  Huge thanks to all those involved in making these signs happen:  Hill Country Education Foundation, Bonnie Martin, Marc Opperman, Vicki Blachman,  Travis County Agrilife Extension’s Horticulture Agent Daphne Richards and Entomologist Elizabeth Brown, Eric Swenson of Svendsson Brothers Custom and John Martin of Straight & Level Construction. 
Thanks everyone for all of the help you have given to continue making the Titan Garden a great space for students, teachers and families to use and enjoy.