One of the unique and integral programs at Mountain Song is Agricultural Arts, ably taught by our “Farmer in Residence,” Elise Bowan.
As Spring has sprung, all students are assisting with planting and caring for our seedlings — which include a variety of herbs, peppers, tomatoes, and flowers — and planting cold crops outdoors such as spinach, greens, root crops, onions, peas, potatoes, and many flowering plants for pollinators. Before the end of the school year, we will have most of our warm season crops planted and beginning to blossom. All of the students are eager to help and truly love caring for our farm.
Grades 1-3 are learning about helpful garden insects. Grades 1-2 released ladybugs into the dome and throughout the garden. The 3rd graders built insect homes for our bug friends. The 2nd graders also planted wheat to harvest and winnow when they return to 3rd grade in the fall.
Ask your children what ladybugs like to eat!
Grade 4 helped install our olas (unglazed ceramic watering pots) outdoors and learned about this ancient conservation technique.
Grades 4-6 are learning about the fascinating world of bees and discussing why their population is declining and how humans can help these special insect helpers. Many students are planting flowers for them in our pollinator garden and starting transplants that can later be moved outdoors. Ask your students what plants can be grown to help the bees!
Grades 7-8 are assisting with the transformation of the garden space, as we design our new meeting area and additional planting spaces. They have been deconstructing, designing, digging, drilling, and getting happily dirty in the process. We are discussing the concept of our ecological footprint and how gardening has huge positive impact on our world.
We have recently welcomed 6 baby chicks to the farm. They have been “visiting” and will be introduced to the flock closer to the end of the school year. Students love getting to know these new fluffy friends.
In order for the farm to be ready for students in the fall, it needs to be watered and cultivated over the summer. This is a great opportunity for school families to get a head start on their volunteer hours for next year and/or complete their hours for this year. Whether you can volunteer for one day a week, one day a month, or one day during the summer, your help is needed and sincerely appreciated. Families who have volunteered in the past say they enjoyed the chance to spend time working together while observing and discussing the changes taking place in the garden. Plus, you get to keep the eggs! If you are interested in participating in the Summer Garden Program, please attend the informational session and farm tour after school on May 16th @ 3pm.
Here is the link to sign up: https://www.signupgenius.com/go/5080d4faaa72eabf49-20191