Spring

Spring in the Garden!!
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Schoolyard Habitat
ALL About Birds!!!
 Bird Sleuth is  a fantastic curriculum out of Cornell University that teaches students how to identify birds,  use a field guide and why it’s important to conserve  habitat. Once students are connected and excited about the bird life on campus there are some stellar Citizen Science programs that can be a springboard for teaching science connected to the real world. Both FEEDER Watch  and Nestwatch  are Citizen Science programs that teach students about local bird’s food requirements, nesting habits,bird songs and  habitat needs. These programs also teach classrooms how to collect needed  data which is uploaded to conservation scientists working in the field. It is a cool way to link technology with a habitat project. Journey North teaches about wildlife migration and seasonal changes. One aspect utilizes student data in tracking the migration patterns of hummingbirds and robins using interactive maps.  Journey North has lots of great slide shows and videos on these species.
 
 
Shades of Green 
 
Schoolyard Enhanced Learning by Herbert W. Broda
30 minutes
2-8 grade
Process skills: Organizing, discriminating detail

This is one of my favorite early spring activities when the garden is still  mostly green. I have done it with all ages and all the students really enjoy the meditative process of collecting and organizing the colors. They are always amazed at just how many shades of green there are in the garden!

 Sitting in the garden ask students how many shades of green they see. They usually say three to five.
Working in pairs, students collect12-15 thumb size samples of green.Give each pair a cardboard strip that has masking tape attached sticky side up. Ask students to arrange their samples from lightest to darkest. Lay all the displays out for students to marvel at all the shades of green! 
 
Time to plant
March- 
Direct sow: spinach, radishes, turnips, beets, peas, carrots, cilantro, and potatoes
Start inside: onions, lettuce, brassicas, tomatoes, peppers,
April-
Direct sow:Beets, carrots, chard, lettuce, cilantro, dill, potatoes, leeks, onions
Start inside: Lettuce, chard, parsley, tomatoes, cucumbers, melons, onions, basil, leeks
SGN is also starting lots of organic vegetable starts for distribution at our upcoming workshops and gatherings!
 
 
Salmon Creek PotatoesPotatoes are a fun crop to have in the garden. They do well in large pots or in garden boxes.Yukon Golds are a good variety as they are ready to harvest in 60 days.  Link your spring potato planting with this favorite,Two Old Potatoes and Me by John CoyAfter reading every class could plant  a 5 gallon nursery pot with 2 old potatoes! Students could estimate the harvest!
 
Two Old Potatoes and Me by John Coy
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Grades 2-6
One day at her dad’s house, a young girl finds two old potatoes in the cupboard. “Gross.” But before she can throw them away, her dad suggests they try to grow new potatoes from the old ones, which have sprouted eyes. Told from May to September, the potato-growing season, the story includes all the basic steps for growing potatoes while subtly dealing with the parents’ recent divorce. Just like the new potatoes that emerged from ugly old potatoes, this dadand daughter move on and make a new life together in the face of unavoidable and unpleasant change. 

Send us your favorite garden related stories!!!

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