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This week with Holly Hill School Partners…
3/231/2018: The Farm Teachers have been encouraging spring, despite the snow, with visits to schools in Scituate, Hingham and Cohasset to plan field trips. Almost every day in May has a scheduled field trip, so call the Farm if you are interested in bringing students to the Farm for a hands-on, engaging field trip. Soon the teachers will soak the sugar snap pea seeds in advance of sowing, cultivating and growing peas for edible pods come mid-June. We welcome spring and hope for the simultaneous promise of warmer days and happy growth.
3/13/2017: The Farm Teachers have been liking the warm weather but dealing with the arctic reality of cold and snow. So we went inside to the South Shore Educational Collaborative in Hingham to make more garlic bread and sort seeds, deciphering whether or not they are good for spring or summer planting. Soon, we will soak sugar snap pea seeds and head to school gardens to plant them directly in the ground once the snow melts with these ever-increasing days of sunlight.
3/6/2017: The Farm Teachers filled a worm bin at the Wampatuck School in Scituate with grade 5. Often this lesson is geared towards 2nd graders to teach them about different parts of soil and ways to divert waste from the trash system, but 5th graders were equally excited to add peels, fruit scraps, torn newspaper and leftover vegetables to the bin so the red wriggler worms could go to work on making wonderful, nutrient-rich vermicompost. Soon the farmers will begin their weekly visits to the Old Colony Montessori School in Hingham to sow seeds, make compost, transplant, weed, cultivate and work in their outdoor classroom and learning garden. The students and families will also be in production mode, as the students in the elementary classroom will try to grow as many crops as they can for a celebration supper on June 7 at the Corner Stop Eatery. If they grow it, they can harvest, eat and share it too.
2/27/2017: The Farm Teachers were at the Old Colony Montessori School in Hingham separating good, rich compost from the red wriggler worms who made it. Technically this all natural organic matter is called vermicompost and is quite healthy for plants and seedlings and to enrich the soil. The vermicompost was made in an indoor bin over the course of about eight weeks for kids in the classroom to see what can be made from raw materials such as newspaper, a bit of water and vegetable and fruit scraps. It is a great product to have as we welcome the warming temperatures and get set to plant outdoors. Soon the Farm Teachers will head to schools in Scituate, Norwell, Cohasset and Hingham to plan the spring seed sowing schedule and to arrange field trips to the Farm. We are excited for a productive season of growing, teaching and learning.
2/20/2017: The Farm Teachers wrestled some kale from the snowy fields so they could cook kale chips with the students at the South Shore Educational Collaborative students. Nice to have a tasty treat, especially when winter is still rearing its head. Soon, the Farm Teachers will present a workshop at The Massachusetts Horticultural group’s annual conference on school gardens. The workshop focuses on lessons at school gardens that deal with sustainability and social justice. More will be shared in March when we publish our curriculum guide highlighting 15 school garden lessons.
2/06/2107: the Farm Teachers were back at the South Shore Educational Collaborative in Hingham with the middle school students. Though we are not part of the culinary program, we are excited to cook and work with as many local vegetables and herbs as possible. We roasted potatoes from the Farm, thyme and garlic from the school garden and olive oil (from Italy). It was good to discuss the origin of our ingredients and we look forward to trying more recipes from hardy winter or fall crops that store well. Soon we will host the South Shore Charter Public School, grades 1 and 2, for a Winter Walk at the Farm. There is much to see in the woods and along the field edges. There is always work to do and things to discover on the Farm.
1/30/2017: The Holly Hill Farm Teachers were at the East School in Hingham with the kindergartners to study seeds. Each student was able to observe, hold and discuss sunflower, bean, corn and even acorn seeds. The Farm Teachers will do the same with the kindergarten classes at South Elementary School, also in Hingham. At the Old Colony Montessori, the students in the elementary program cut out seed pictures from catalogs as part of their wish list of crops they would like to grow this year at their outdoor school garden. Soon, the farmers will start a worm bin with grade 5 at the Wampatuck School and cafeteria compost collection at the Hatherly School, both in Scituate. Keeping busy as winter mildly hums along.
1/24/2017: The Farm Teachers have been heading to schools to talk about and lead lessons on what farmers do in winter. One of the activities is to learn about where our food comes from and to eat well every day. At the South Shore Educational Collaborative, the students helped make and enjoyed garlic bread in the school kitchen. And, after discussing from where seeds come, the students separated and popped some glass gem popcorn, a delicious treat. There are still a few more vermicompost and red wriggler worm bins to establish in some Hingham elementary school 2nd grade classrooms, PRS and Foster. Lots of snacks from students mean lots of ingredients for worms to make compost. The gardens (and the worms) will be delighted.
1/09/2017: Even though we are in the throes of winter with snow and ice, there is still work to do with teaching about organic farming and gardening. Recently, the Farm Teachers were at the South Shore Educational Collaborative School Quest program with 6th and 7th graders making a worm bin. We added food scraps, newspaper, some water and red wriggler worms, of course, in hopes the students will investigate their progress as the worms start decomposing the ingredients, reduce trash and make some lovely vermicompost for more growing. Soon, we will take on the same plan at the Cole School in Norwell, as each 2nd grade classroom will have a chance to make a bin. Worms work in winter too.