Friday, April 19, 2013

A Third Grade Day

This week the camera came to third grade where it caught each of the four third grade groups working on their task of the day.

The Earth Group emptied the kitchen scraps from the classroom into kitchen scrap compost pile and then rinsed the bucket.

We collect our kitchen scraps in one area for five weeks and then spread them in one big layer onto our big compost pile which also gets layers of horse manure, chicken bedding, hay and weeds.

When they were done with the kitchen scraps, Earth group sprinkled the Barrel Compost preparation that 7th grade had stirred for them earlier that day.

The Fire Group worked hard, clearing the weeds out of a new bed to get it ready for planting.

The Water Group harvested.  Here you can see them picking swiss chard.

The Air Group helped set up an experiment in weed control.  Instead of digging up the weeds, we decided to cover the whole bed, weeds and all, with paper and then plant seeds through the paper.  Here's hoping it works!

Earlier in the week, Jim Mueller came by the farm and helped to cut the split ends off of the siding for our shed.  We hope to have it finished before school gets out.

Around the garden...

The rye cover crop is growing beautifully.  Rye has long roots that help to break up clumps of clay deep down and provides organic matter for the garden.  We cut it and turn it under before it goes to seed, then wait three weeks and, voila! we have a lovely bed full of rich humusy earth.

Last year's third grade made these beautiful stepping stones which were completely hidden by weeds in the flower beds this spring.  We had a couple of very mucky spots along well worn travel ways so the stones got moved to keep our feet from getting too wet.  They do a great job and they are beautiful.  Thank you Mrs. Comaniciu's class!

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Fermented Weed Tea

This week we began applying fermented weed tea to the beds again.  Fermented weed tea is pretty much what it sounds like.  We fill a large barrel about half full of weeds, then add water to the top and wait at least three weeks.  The result is a nutrient rich, liquid compost that can be used to water the plants and give them a boost.  According to biodynamic thought, the concentrated remains of the weeds also discourages those particular varieties of weeds from growing again.  Below are some pictures of our weed tea and a few other pictures of the day, taken by Pascal.

Emptying the weed tea barrel.

Carrying weed tea to the garden.

 Annalyse, our beekeeper.

Bee smoker.
 Daniel weeds the parsley.

Tendril on one of last year's vines.

Senposai, ready to be put into a bed.

Thursday, April 4, 2013

Contemplating the arrival of Spring

As I type this, we are experiencing yet another day in the lower 40's.  It actually sleeted and snowed a little this morning as we were working in the garden.  Spring has been a long time coming this year.   It should be just around the corner.  Our average final frost is April 15 around here, only 11 days away...

Daniel was our photographer last week before we started break.  Enjoy!

 The Bradford pear doesn't care how cold it's been.  Time to bloom!

 Pascal pauses to reflect while edging a bed.

 Water drops.
 Leland tosses some soil.